Aadi (mid July to mid August), the fourth month in Tamil calendar, is generally considered as inauspicious like the Karkitaka Masam in the neighboring state Kerala. It is believed that Lord Surya (Sun god) changes his direction from north to south in the Aadi month. The next six months from Aadi to Margazhi is the Dakshinayana punyakalam – symbolically the night time of the Devas. In 2013, Aadi month begins on July 17th ends on August 17th.
Traditionally, most people avoid auspicious ceremonies during this period. It is believed that the ceremonies held during this period will not have the blessings of the gods. But a few important celebrations and rituals take place in the Aadi month.
The new moon day in Aadi month is celebrated as ‘aadi pooram.’ The day is also celebrated as the birthday of Aandal – Saint Poet who wrote Tiruppaavai and is also considered as a manifestation of the mother Goddess. Many people celebrate Aadi as the month of the Goddess and women partake in several rituals and ceremonies during this month.
The Varalakshmi pooja observed by women falls in the Aadi month. Women observe fast (Vratha) for the wellbeing of the family.
The 10-day Aadi Mulaikottu festival at
attracts huge crowds. The important event during the festival is the procession of Madurai . Amman
Farmers start the new agriculture season during the Aadi month.
The 18th day of Aadi month is celebrated as Aadi perukku. Aadi month falls during the peak monsoon season and most of the rivers will be overflowing during this period. People celebrate this overflow of water by assembling and praying on the river banks. They pray to Gods to keep the rivers always filled so that they will have enough water for agriculture.
The festival is also known as Pathinettam perukku and is mainly held along the banks of River Cauvery. Today, the festival is held near all water bodies including reservoirs, lakes, beaches and tanks. It is considered auspicious to take a dip in the sea and rivers on the Aadi Amavasi day.
Earlier, newly wed couples were separated during the Aadi month by some communities. The bride’s parents used to invite the bride back home. This was because the women who conceived during the Aadi month used to give birth during April – May, the hottest months. In earlier days, when there were no hospitals the infant mortality rate used to be high during the hot months.
A major event in the modern times is the Aadi sales especially of textiles and jewelry.