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Significance of Arudhra Darshan – Date of Arudra Darshan in 2018 - Celebration of the Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva - Arudra Darisanam in Margazhi Month

Arudhra Darshan or Arudara Darisanam is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January). Arudhara Darshan 2018 date is Monday, January 1. It is essentially a Shaivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs the dance in the form this red-flamed light.

It must be noted here that Arudhra, Ardra, Arudhara, Arudra, Arudara are the different spellings used in English language to mention the same festival. Ardra or Arudhara or Thiruvathirai is also the name of a birth star or nakshatra in Hindu astrology. The star is associated with Shiva.

Importance of Arudhra Darshan

Arudhra Darshan is one of the most auspicious days associated with Lord Shiva. It is dedicated to the cosmic dance of Shiva.

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.

Arudhra Darshan is of great importance at the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple and marks the conclusion of Margazhi Brahmotsavam.

It is celebrated with fervor at the Tiruvaalankaadu Temple, Nellaiappar temple, Kutralanaathar temple, Tiruvarur TempleKapaaleeswarar Temple and in several other Lord Shiva shrines across the globe.

When is Arudhra Darshan Observed?

It takes place on the full moon night (along with Arudara Birth Star) in the month of Margazhi and this is also the longest night in a year. The festival is mainly observed in the Tamil speaking world.

The most important Arudhra Darshan festival takes place at the Chidambaram Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu. The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva is enacted on the day.

Arudra festival is also celebrated with fervor in Lord Shiva temples in Sri LankaSingaporeMalaysiaSouth AfricaAustralia and in other parts of the world by Tamil speaking population.

Lord Nataraja Urchavam at Tiruvannamalai Temple

Arudra Darisanam festival which celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as Nataraja in Tamil month Margazhi is observed as Lord Nataraja Urchavam at Tiruvannamalai Temple.

The festival is observed at Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleshwar Temple when the Ardra Nakshatra falls in the month of Margazhi. Special pujas and rituals are held on the day at the temple.

Arudara Darisanam Festival at Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu is the holiest shrine in which Lord Shiva is depicted as Nataraja in his Ananda Tandava pose – cosmic dance. Arudara Darisanam 2018 Festival at Chidambaram Nataraja Temple concludes on January 1, 2018. This temple festival celebrates the cosmic dance of Shiva. Ardra Darisanam Festival marks the conclusion of Margazhi Brahmotsavam – the most important temple festival in Chidambaram Nataraja Temple.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva performed the cosmic dance in Nataraja form at Chidambaram for his devotees Adi Shesha and Vyagrapaadar. Adi Shesha, the seven-hooded serpent on whom Lord Vishnu rests in Milky Ocean, wanted to witness this divine dance of creation after hearing about it from Lord Shiva. Vyagrapaadar was a devotee of Shiva who performed penance and Tapas to witness Ananda Tandava. Lord Shiva granted their request and performed it at Chidambaram.

The Ananda Tandavam of Shiva – popularly called Nataraja - is said to symbolize the five divine acts (pancha krityas) of creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealment, and bestowment of grace.

Shiva is also worshipped in the Chidambaram Temple as Akasa Lingam, in the ‘formless form’ which is popularly called the Chidambara Rahasyam.

The Thiruvathirai Festival dedicated to Shiva and Parvati is observed on the day in Kerala.

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