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Chokka Panai in Kartika Month in Tamil Nadu

Chokka Panai is the lighting of the bonfire in temples, houses and streets during the Karthigai Deepam festival. Apart from lighting numerous lamps on Karthigai Deepam, people also create bonfire. The bonfire is created both by Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu devotees. Chokka Panai 2023 date is November 26. The festival is observed for three days.

The popular belief by Lord Shiva devotees is that the Chokka Panai that is lit during Karthigai Deepam is a smaller version of the Tiruvannamalai Maha Deepam lit on Karthigai Purnima at the Anamalai hills near the Sri Arunachaleswarar temple. This Maha Deepam is believed to be the form in which Lord Shiva appeared before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.

Chokka Panai is observed as Vishnu Deepam by Lord Vishnu devotees and the legend of it is associated with that of Sri Hari Vishnu sending King Bali to Patala or the netherworld.

Another belief is that the fire is lit to remove all the unwanted agricultural waste and keep the streets and villages clean.

Nowadays many people keep crackers inside the Chokka Panai to hear and watch it burst.