Panguni Uthiram is an important festival for Tamil Hindus. It falls on the day when the moon transits in the Uttara-phalguni or Uthiram asterism or nakshatra in the twelfth month of the Tamil calendar i.e. Panguni. It is the full moon of the month of Panguni. This full moon signifies the marriage of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, Murugan and Deyvaanai, Aandaal and Rangamannar. On Panguni Uthiram, Murugan married Kamalavalli Naachiyar. According to Valmiki Ramayana, on this day and star Goddess Sita's marriage with Lord Ram was celebrated. The day defines the glory of grihastha dharma (or the married life). The Almighty manifests in the marital state as Uma Maheswara, Sita Rama, and Radha Krishna.
Significance of Panguni Uthiram:
Panguni Uthiram is an important day in Tamilnadu. It is a special day because the Uthiram nakshatra coincides with the full moon. Phalgun Poornima day is also celebrated as Holi in Braj region which includes the locations such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana, Kumaoni that are traditionally connected to Lord Krishna. It is the day when Holika the sister of Hiranyakashiyapu was destroyed. Phalgun Uthiram is celebrated as Basatotsav (Bengal), Phagwah (Bihar), Doḷajātra (Oriya), and Ganga Mela (UP). It is also known as Dol Purnima (Bengal), Rangapanchami (MP), Yaosang (Manipur), Basanta Panchami (AP), Phakuwa (Assam), Shimga (Maharashtra), Manjal Kuli (Kerala), Fagu Purnima (Nepal), and Panguni Uthram Vasanthotsavam (TamilNadu). The natural colored powders have medicinal properties. The colors are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs. It is a very auspicious day for all Hindus.
On Panguni Uthiram, devotees carry the pooja material to Lord Subrahmanya's temple in a 'Kavadi.' A special Puja is performed in all Murugan temples in Tamil Nadu. In most of the temples, Float festivals are the important rituals observed during Panguni Uthiram. The first day of Chithirai month is celebrated as Tamil New Year. Lord Ayyappan Jayanti, is observed on Panguni Uthiram. Ayyappa is also known as Manikandan or Manikanta. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa was born out of the union between Mohini avatar of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Hence he is known as Hariharasuta or Hariharasudan.
As per the legend, Lord Ayyappa was born to destroy the demon Mahishi. Later, Lord gave her a boon that she will be worshiped as Maalikapurathamma. At Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, Ayyappa Jayanti is celebrated on this day with enthusiasm and is attended by thousands of devotees from all around the world.
Celebrations and Rituals:
Devotees flock to Murugan temples during the Panguni Uthiram festival, which is celebrated in the month of March. It is the day of Incarnation of Lord Ayyappan. It is also an important festival day for Lord Subramanya. On this day Sri Valli married Lord Subramanya. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi was incarnated on the earth from the ocean of milk when it was churned by the Gods and the demons. Hence it is celebrated as Mahalakshmi Jayanti. Goddess Parvati in the form of Gouri married Lord Siva in Kanchipuram and hence this day is also celebrated as the Gouri Kalyanam. Panguni Uthiram is important for Murugan devotees.