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Pavai Nombu during Margazhi Month

Pavai Nombu, also known as Margali Nonbu, is observed in Tamil Nadu during Margazhi masam or Margali month. It is said that Andal performed Pavai Nonbu to merge with Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu). Pavai Nombu is performed by women for prosperity and to get good husbands. The history of Pavai Nonbu is more than 2000 years old and is mentioned in the early Tamil scriptures. In 2017, Margali month begins on December 16.

General belief is that the Pavai Nombu was observed for Katyayani (a form of Durga). It is said that Gopis first observed it to get Lord Krishna as their husband. Women and girls observing Pavai Nombu woke before sunrise bathed in the Kalindi River and made an image of Goddess Katyayani with the clay found on the river bank and offered prayers to the Goddess to get good husbands. It is believed that Andal performed the Pavai Nombu to merge with Sri Ranganatha.

Today, women and girls undertaking Pavai Nombu during Margali month take bath at dawn and visit temples and read a verse from Thiruppavai composed by Andal.