Chithirai festival, or Chitra festival, is one of the most important annual festivals held at the world famous
Madurai Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple at in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated for 12 days during the Tamil month of Chithirai or Chitirai (April – May). In 2012, the date of commencement of Chithirai festival is April 23 and the festival will end on May 4, 2012. Celestal Wedding or Thirukkalyanamof Lord Sundareswarar with Goddess Meenakshi is on May 2, 2012. The Car festival is on May 3. Madurai
The most important rituals associated with the festival are
- the coronation of Meenakshi Amman on the eighth day,
- procession of Goddess Meenakshi on the ninth day,
- Thirukalyanam or celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar on the tenth day,
- the car festival on the 11th day and
- the Theertha festival is celebrated on the 12th day with the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi going round Masi streets and blessing the devotees.