Panguni Uthiram is one of the significant festivals of South India. It is also celebrated in countries like Malaysia, Singapore and other Tamil speaking nations. The Hindu (both Saiva and Vaishnava) temples observe this festival to celebrate the Celestial Wedding of Gods with their consorts. Devotees celebrate this festival with traditional fervor and religious devotion in all parts of Tamil Nadu as well as in some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.
The Tamil Solar Calendar marks full moon day (Falgun Purnima) falls during the Tamil Calendar month Panguni (March –April). This full moon day coincides with the transition of moon from constellation Pooram (Purva Phalguni) to constellation Uthiram (Uttara-phalguni). This year on Panguni 20( April 3, 2015), Friday happens to be the full moon day and the moon will be at the asterism Uthiram (Uttara-phalguni) and hence the Panguni Uthiram festival will be observed. This Falgun Purnima day is also coincides with Holi, the festival of colors.
Panguni Uthiram (Falgun Purnima) full moon day is known as the Celestial Wedding of Lord Shiva and His consort Goddess Parvathi; Lord Muruga and His consort Goddess Devayani (Deivanai) and Lord Rangamannar (Lord Vishnu) and His consort Goddess Andal (Kothai) Nachiyar. This day also celebrates the divine wedding day Lord Rama and goddess Sita. (This is a great coincidence)
Puranic (Legend) Story
According to Kandapuranam, there is a legend Manmadha Dhakanam. Manmadhan, the Lord of Kama disturbed the penance of Lord Shiva and the offended Lord Shiva destroyed the Lord of Kama into ashes. Rathi the wife of Kama Deva offered her prayers and request to bear the sins of her husband. Lord Shiva relented and reincarnated Manmadhan.
It is learned from the holy Brahmanda Purana that on the day of Panguni Uthiram every holy water mixes with Thumburu teertha (sacred water tank in Tirumala Tirpati). We are learning from inscriptions about the existence of these festivals and celebrations as early as that of the Emperor Rajaraja Chola.
Annual Festivals in Temples
This legend also emphasises the protection of marital life from separation. The offering prayers to the almighty will grace with good mental equilibrium to the couples and bestows strength to reignite love, affection and understanding. Married women offer worship at Hindu temples to get rid of the hurdles and for a happy married life.
The festival is celebrated over a ten day period in most of the Murugan Temples. People will assemble in thousands to witness car festivals at Palani (a town in South Tamil Nadu. Men will observe a typical foot pilgrimage (pada yatra) to the temples of Lord Muruga and cover about one hundred kilometers over three to four days and nights. Some people vow to offer ‘Kavadi’ to Lord Muruga. They will bear Kavadi (two vessels connected and tied at the end of a long stick) on their shoulders and walk across the distance. Womenfolk will offer cool beverages like buttermilk or even food to devotees. At Mylapore (part of Chennai city), the ten day Panguni Festival will come to an end on this full moon day with the Thirukalyanam (celestial marriage). Ayyappa Jayanthi (the birth anniversary) of Lord Ayyappa will also be observed and celebrated in Ayyappa temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
– (compiled from WEB by emkay)