Rivers have been treated as very holy in India and are treated as forms of Lordess. With our earlier post on divinity associated with the month of Aadi, this is again an emphasis in the same direction. Typically the eighteenth day in the month of Aadi is of tremendous significance in the state of Tamil Nadu, at least in the Cauvery delta region. This is also known as Aadi Perukku.
Aadi festival assumes more significance since the Sun also changes its directions. The two indicators Uttarayanam and Dakshinayanam respectively applying for the month of Thai (January - February) and Aadi (July - August) highlights this too. The month also kickstarts the start of various festivals and the world enters a festive spree with a plethora of festivals lining up after this month.
With the monsoons in full swings during this month, all rivers are supposed to flow to its brim. The predominantly agricultural sector of the region (Cauvery delta) observes the 18th day of month, they go to the river banks with rice and other prasadams and give to each other betel nuts, clothes etc. Women also wear the new mangalyam. This is a special gesture of thanks that is shown to all rivers, which are lifeline to agricultural sector, which in fact feeds the world with the basic necessity of food.
At homes, there would be special feasts prepared and the most significant of the dishes in the village houses is the Chitraannam (Cocunut, Sugar, Limbu, Tamarind, Sesame and Curd). Special offerings and poojas are offered to river Goddesses like Ganga and Cauvery with betel leaves, betel nuts, fruits and cocunut. The pooja also features a special Deeparadhana to the rivers. In this occasion, I would also like to draw your attention to the special Ganga Arthi that is conducted in Haridwar but thi sis conducted on a daily basis by Swami Chitananda Maharishi.
2006 Aadi Perukku Highlights
An article coverage from 'The New Indian Express'