Thursday, December 8, 2011

THRIKKARTHIKA - FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS


Thrikkarthika is an important Hindu festival and it  is a 'Festival of Lights' celebrated with enthusiasm all over Kerala,Tamil Nadu etc.
In Kerala on Deepavali Day Hindus celebrate it auspiciously well along with all other Hindus of India and abroad. Except Brahmins others usually does not light so many lamps outside the house
as part of the celebration of Deepavali in Kerala.The celebrations are mostly confined  for one day only with a big feast with sweets,morning oil bath, and lighting fire crackers.Deepavali(the array of lights)  are  mostly not done.But the Keralites celebrate the
festival of lights literally on 'Thrikkarthika day'.
In the month of Vrichikam(Nov-Dec) on the Karthika day which mostly falls on the full moon day is celebrated
as Thrikkarthika.
As usual the celebration includes a feast with sweets, visiting nearby temples in morning and evening especially
Devi Temples.  Some people believes it is a celebration for the  killing of  demon
Karthika Puzhukku
"Narakasura' but most of the people believes this day as the birth day of Goddess 'Karthyayani Devi'.Usually on Thrikkarthika day no crackers are lighted but the highlight is given for devotion.In Many parts of Kerala people do not even make a feast on this day but make rice soup(Kanji) with 'Karthika Puzhukku'(A vegetable preparation of a mixture of several underground stems like 'tapiocca').
In the evening at dusk in each and every Hindu homes they illuminate their premises with small earthen oil lamps
in the  lawn,on the walls, on the terrace, in the pooja room, on the steps, in each and every corners etc and it will be a beautiful sight.Almost all Devi Temples in Kerala will also be decorated with thousands of lighted small oil lamps.
We  in Kerala  are celebrating the birthday of Devi 'Karthiyayani' which is a form of
Durga Devi or Parvathy itself.This day is the  main festival day of several Devi temples of Kerala.The most importance is given to the Devi at 'Kumaranallur' of Kottayam District.Some people even say this day as
'Kumaranallur Thrikkarthika'.Kumaranallur temple which dates back to 2400 years was built by Cheraman Perumal and actually it was constructed for 'Kumaran' which is Subramanian.Mean while another temple was being constructed at Udayanapuram intended for Devi.But on the day selected for the idol to be consecrated in the temple 'Devi' entered the Sanctum Sanctorum and a divine voice was heard as 'Kumaran- alla-ooril' means this place is not for Kumaran and later an idol which was  worshiped by a Sage earlier was installed there.It is believed that Lord Parasurama appeared on that day and performed the idol
installation within one minute and vanished. Kumaranallur Devi temple is one of the most important Devi temples of Kerala  which is one among the 108 Devi Shrines.The 10 day festival of Kumaranallur temple ends on the Thrikkarthika day.In the evening the temple premises will be beautifully illuminated with thousands of oil
lamps and electric bulbs.
The festival of 'Oorakathamma Devi' is also on Thrikkarthika day and it is said that it is the birth day and idol
installation day of the deity.
In many Tamil Nadu State temples also numerous oil lamps are lighted on this day as at the famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple where more than one lakh (10 million) oil lamps are lighted on this day.
Like that   one of the most important Central Travancore Devi Temple 'Chakkulathu Kavu' has its 'Ponkala'
celebration on this day.Like Attukal Temple the 'Ponkala' celebration of this temple has earned much fame
Chakkulathu Kavu Temple
in recent years millions of women participate in 'Pokala' by preparing 'naivedyam' to the Devi.To several kilometers   around the temple the rows of 'Ponkala pots' along with the devotees can be seen on road sides and open places.
Thrikkarthika lamps helps to give prosperity to brothers and sisters also.When brothers lights the lamps eventually their sisters will  also be  benefited while when sisters lights the lamps their brothers also gets the prosperity.For this purpose usually a 'kolam' used to be drawn and typical lamp known as 'Elephant lamp'
has to be  used.If another type of lamp 'Jyothy lamp' is used our Original home(Tharavadu) will get prosperity too.
From all these beliefs we can understand that by lighting the lamps on the Thrikkathika day evening we will get the blessings of Devi and she will  bless us with prosperity.
Astrologers say that  there are some astrological reasons also behind the lighting of lamps on Karthika day in Vrichikam.They say that it is to lessen the problems of 'Vrichikam Rasi' and to gain strength to 'Moon'.
The common man need not be worried about all these astrological facts  but has to light as much as small earthen lamps filled with oil and  light them up beautifully in and around the house and on walls,steps etc.May Goddess bless us all with prosperity and happiness and the rays  of lights removes the darkness from our way of progress.This year's Thrikkarthika Festival is on  November 25, Wednesday, 2015.

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