Kaarthigai Festival ( 4th December 2006 )
Tamilians all over the world begin placing oil lamps on the entrance doors of their homes right from the first day of Kaarthigai month. On the full Moon day, and on the day of Kaarthigai Star, every Tamil Home is lit of with tens and hundreds of lamps. Tens of lamps in an array are placed on the interiors and exteriors of all windows and doors. The womenfolk draw highly creative rangolis in front of their houses and place oil lamps on these Kolams (rangolis) and the entire streets present a picture of procession of lamps galore.
At Thiruvannamalai, on the day of Bharani Star, Thirukkaarthigai Deepam is celebrated in a grand manner. At the hillock, the devotees light what is historically known as BHARANI DEEPAM, around the time of confluence of Sun and Moon. Thousands of devotees congregate in front of Arunachala Hills at Thiruvannamalai, to witness and worship the Bharani Deepam. Lord Arunachaleswara with his consort comes out of the temple, to be with and bless all on this festive occasion.
This is a delight to watch and almost all TVs from Tamil Nadu relay this programme live.
Kaarthigai Festival is also noted for delicious snacks. Fried rice and aval mixed with jaggery to forms Nel Urundai and Aval Urundai, apart from other snacks like appam, adai, are unique .
We lit a lamp in all our homes, on this day.
Why not we celebrate this festival with a vow to light a lamp in the future of those unprivileged children, orphans, destitutes and old-aged people ?
Indeed, it lies in our Tamil Culture when we recall Vallalar's Call to All:
Vallalar said: Vaadiya Payirai kandapothellam Vaadinen.
I felt distressed whenever I saw a distressed plant.
Vallalar advocated Jeeva Kaarunyam not only to human beings, but to all beings.
This Kaarthigai Day, let us all Tamil people, reveal our compassion, by contributing our mite
to any organisation which serves the unprivileged ones.
Hundreds nay thousands of children, destitutes, orphans, old aged people, are being cared for, by various NGOs throughout Tamil Nadu.
A few organisations that come to my mind are:
Sevalaya: An organisation in Thiruniravur, which brings hope to orphaned children through education; http://www.sevalaya.org
Everyone knows the organisations : CRY and HELPAGE.
Donate Something what you feel is possible on this Thiru Kaarthigai.
And Be proud of Our Tamil Culture.