Aadi 18 Perukku, as the name indicates, is a festival observed on the 18th day in Tamil month Aadi. It is also known as Pathinettam perukku and ‘peruku’ means ‘rising.’ In 2016, the date of Aadi 18 Perukku is August 3. The rising here indicates the overflowing of rivers like Kaveri due to the monsoon rains. The festival is essentially Nature Worship by farmers and other people who depend on the rivers and monsoon rains for their livelihood.
The festival is celebrated mainly by people residing along the banks of the
in Tamil Nadu. Special prayers and pujas are done in temples and people pray for a good harvest, constant supply of water and hassle free monsoon. Kaveri River
On the day, all family members make a trip to the riverbank and prepare a special lamp using rice flour and jaggery, which is placed on mango leaves and lit. Flowers, turmeric and a yellow thread are also placed on the mango leaves. Women float the lamps along with the mango leaves and other accompaniments in the river.
Special delicacies are prepared on the day and family members are joined by relatives and friends. People also prepare several varieties of rice including the popular ‘chithranam.’ Family members go on a picnic to riverbanks along with the food prepared. The riverbank or seashore picnic is a major event in some districts in Tamil Nadu on the day.
In some regions in Tamil Nadu, son-in-law is invited to home and is given gifts on the day. Usually during Aadi month, the newly wed brides spend the month at her parent’s home and on Aadi 18 Perukku, a gold coin is added to the thali or mangalsutra in some southern districts of the state.