Karthigai Deepam is a light celebration commended during the Full Moon (Purnima) evening in the Tamil month of Karthigai (mid-Nov to mid-Dec) when the Moon is in the star Kirthigai. Cosmically, Karthigai star is referred as Alcyone, and it is the most splendid star in the Pleiades heavenly body. This celebration is praised with more intensity in South India. This traditional festival of Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest festivals celebrated over there and in neighbouring states. This festival has a major significance among Tamils and Tamils all over the world want to celebrate this festival with full heart.

Significance of Karthigai Deepam

Karthigai Deepam is an old celebration, which is praised for Lord Shiva and his child Muruga. Lighting of lamps shapes a necessary custom of this celebration.The wick in the light symbolizes our inner self, the oil in the light indicates our inalienable nature that societies the conscience and the fire mean the profound knowledge that can kindle the sense of self (wick) by wearing out the intrinsic conduct (oil).lighting speaks to the triumph of good over fiendishness. On Karthigai Deepam, people often light lamps in their homes to introduce Prosperity and auspiciousness in their lives and avert negativities and malice powers.

Why is Karthigai Deepam Celebrated? 

Though the actual history of Karthigai Deepam is not clearly stated but one can discover reference to this festival in deep rooted writings of Tamils known as Ahananuru. This extraordinary book discusses the happenings between 200BC and 300AD. Hindus often consider Lord Shiva as the defender of this world and often pray to him for happiness of this world. The faith Hindus have in Lord Shiva often lead to celebration of this auspicious festival.

According to precious old text, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu once started debating on who is more supreme and powerful between them. To teach them a moral, Lord Shiva appeared in form of a boundless fire and asked to find both ends of fire. Lord Brahma changed himself to a swan to find the topmost end of fire whereas Lord Vishnu decided to take a form of a boar and dig to find the bottom of fire. At last both of them were unsuccessful and realised the fact that there is no one superior to Lord Shiva.

One of the greatest presences of Lord Shiva is considered in Sri Annamalaiar Hill in Tiruvannamalai and to immortalize this event, a holy fire is lit every year on the occasion of Karthigai Deepam One of the grandest celebrations of Karthigai Deepam is made in Arunachalam Temple at Tiruvannamalai.

According to other legends, there is another historical event associated with celebration of this festival which involves birth of Lord Muruga who was born as six flames and nurtured by Karthigai Pengal.

How is this auspicious festival celebrated?

Often considered as extension to Diwali in South India, this festival is celebrated with full joy and happiness

  • People clean their houses and make beautiful Rangolis around their doorstep
  • People often wear new clothes and burst crackers to happiness
  • Special dainty is made and served during the pooja
  • A grand celebration happens in Arunachalam Temple of Tiruvannamalai to mark this festival

 Benefits of Lighting Lamps during this auspicious festival

  • Expel obscurity as negativities
  • Symbol of prosperity and positivity
  • Removes stress from life and helps achieving internal harmony
  • Fulfilment of wishes