Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dhanumasa Thiruvathira

Hi Friends...
Today is Thiruvathira.I ll share you something about Thiruvathira.
        Thiruvathira is a Hindu festival celebrated in the southern Indian state of Kerala on the full moon day of the month of Dhanu (December or January). Married women and girls do 'upavasam' (fasting) on that day, and sing and dance. Girls pray to Lord Shiva to get a good husband while married women pray for the longevity of their husbands.

          On the Thiruvathira day women fast and avoid rice meal and eat only preparations of wheat. Other items of their food include plantain fruits, tender coconuts, etc. They also chew betel and redden their lips. 

The festival commemorates the death of Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love.It is believed that on this day, the Goddess Parvathi finally met Lord Siva after her long penance.Some people also consider it auspicious to worship Lord Shiva on this day and take his darshan in a local Shiva temple before the sunrise. Some believe that Thiruvathira is the birth day of Lord Shiva. 


                   The festival of Thiruvathira is extremely popular among the women of Kerala and the Customs are based on age-old traditions. This festival begin a week before, commencing from Aswathi. The second last day is Rohini. On this day, fasting is done for overall welfare of the family and wellbeing of all members. The previous day is Makayiram. On this day, mothers observe fast for the well-being of their children. Married women who have difficulties in conceiving fast and spent this day praying Lord. They long for blessings in the form of a kid of their own.
          In some places the previous day of thiruvadhira i.e. on the day of Makayiram, women/girls put mehandi on the palms which is considered as highly auspicious. The fact behind this ritual has a deeper significance. One such notion goes that the darker the color of the Mehndi, the more her husband will love her, and this darker colour indicates more love from her husband and inlaws.
         women wake up as early as 4 am and take bath in the river water. While taking bath women sing songs in worship of Lord Kaamadeva on the rhythm produced by splashing of water with the fist.Women wear fresh two-piece attire called “settu mundu” and culinary delicacies unique for the day.The day starts with prayers to Lord Shiva and Sree Parvathi and a visit to the nearby temple in the early morning. 
                The Breakfast includes an arrowroot pudding (koova payasam) and steamed nendran banana.Lunch is mostly porridge in wheat or sooji rawa or chama (Panicum milletium) with coconut milk; and special Thiruvathira “puzhuku”. 
                The first Thiruvathira coming after the marriage of a girl is known as Puthen Thiruvathira or Poothiruvathira. This was celebrated on a grand scale earlier but today most people skip the functions. 
                          There is a tradition called 'Pathirappooochoodal', meaning 'wearing of flowers of midnight'.This refers to gathering and wearing a combination of 10 auspicious flowers, which is together called dasapushpam. This was considered holy in earlier times. During those days, these plants were available in plenty in most homesteads of Kerala.

                   An image of Lord Shiva is placed in the central courtyard of the house at the midnight of Thiruvathira. An offering of flowers, plantains and jaggery is made to this image. The women then perform the very elegant Thiruvathirakkali or Kaikottikali around the image of Lord Shiva wearing the flowers picked from the offering made to the Lord. Womenfolk also amuse themselves by playing on the Oonjal (swing) on this day. On the night of Thiruvathira women again perform Thiruvathirakkali in a circle at the center of which is placed a lighted brass lamp.

The song Sung during thudichukuli

Dhanu masathil thiruvathira,
       bhagavan thante thirunalalo
      bhagavathyku thirunoyamballo...

The song Sung during search for pathirapoochoodal
Onnaanaam mathilakath onnundu pol poothilanji
       poothilanji pooparikan poranundo thozhimare..
      pathanam mathilakath.......

Some songs from Malayalam movies regarding Thiruvathira..
Enjoy the songs.........

* Images and information from Google

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