The festival of prosperity and fertility, Aadi Perukku falls during the Tamil month of Aadi. The commencement of the monsoon season is a symbol of prosperity. Adiperukku is also known as the Aadi monsoon festival. The festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi. For the blessing of human-being with peace, prosperity, and happiness, nature worship in the form of Amman deities are organised to shower Nature’s grace on the human. On this day Mother Nature is worshipped as Amman deities. It is like a thanksgiving ceremony for Nature’s blessings. The month of Adi marks the onset of monsoon season in Tamil Nadu. Hence the month of Adi is favourable for rooting, sowing, and planting of seeds and other forms of vegetation. All the perennial river sources of tTamil Nadu including the lakes are worshipped. Aadi Perukku is also called as ‘Padinettam Perukku.’ ‘Padinettu’ means ‘eighteen’ and ‘Perukku’ implies ‘rising.’ The ritual is observed by the women.
Celebrations and Rituals:
The first day of Aadi is celebrated as Aadi Pandigai or Aadi Pirappu which is an important festival, especially for newly-weds. The visible manifestation of the festival is the huge 'kolams' that are created early each morning in front of the houses. They are usually bordered with red 'Kavi.' The front doorway is decorated with Mango leaves. A special puja is followed by a feast with 'payasam' prepared with Coconut milk, and Vadai. Aadi is a month of observances. The prayers are offered to water-force and natural forces. The eighteenth day of Aadi is observed as 'Aadi Perukku,' a day of offerings and prayers to the rivers, which brings life and prosperity. There is a belief that young girls who perform puja offering Kadholai, Karugamani, and Kaapparisi (a sweet made of rice and jaggery) will be blessed with good husbands. The families spend the evening by the river, eating preparations of rice like Puliyodharai, Lemon rice, etc. Adiperukku folk songs are the major attractions during this festival. Aadi Perukku is the best time to worship Goddess Lakshmi, along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Kubera.
On the day of Aadi Perukku, women worship Goddess Parvati. Different forms of rice dishes such as coconut rice, sweet Pongal, curd rice, Bahala rice, lemon rice and tamarind rice are prepared and offered to the Goddess. The devotees also worship the sacred river Cauvery with rice offerings, Akshata, and flowers. On this occasion, people pray for intermittent supply for good harvest. The devotees take a dip in the holy water and wear new clothes before performing the rituals at the bathing ghats. It is followed by ‘abhishekham’ of Kaveri Amman. A lamp is prepared with jaggery and rice flour. It is placed on the mango leaves. A yellow thread, turmeric, and flowers are added. The lamp is lit by the women and is floated in the river. A special rice preparation ‘Kalandha Saddam’ is prepared. After completing the Puja, the devotees eat the feast along the banks of the river with their family. The event turns out to be like a picnic on the banks of Cauvery River.
Significance of Aadi Perukku:
Adi is the Tamil month of observances that is dedicated to Water forces and other Natural forces. During Aadi month prayers are offered to thank the Goddesses and also to seek protection from the ominous aspects. It is believed that Adi month is very auspicious for making connections with the Divine power. The festival of Aadi Perukku has been practised and patronised since the time of the rule of the Kings.