Category Archives: Pandigai (Festival)

Poli Pictorial

The South Indian version of Puran Poli is known just as Poli and is served as part of the traditional feast on Bhogi and Avani Avittam or Upakarma day. It is very similar to its North Indian counter-part except for the inclusion of coconut, to give it a South Indian twist.

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Posted by on February 26, 2010 in Cooking, Desi, Pandigai (Festival), Traditional cooking


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Deepavali or Diwali, as the festival is popularly called, literally means “a row of lights”. It is usually celebrated on the 14th day after full-moon/new-moon day in the tamil month of Aipasi (or Ashwina in Sanskrit).

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Posted by on October 23, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)




Navaratri is the festival of nine nights (well, ten if you include the last day of dasami pooja) celebrated in different parts of India in varying traditions. Durga Pooja in the East, Dussehra in the North and Golu in South are some of the forms in which these nine days are celebrated. Whatever the form may be, these 9 days promote Devi (Goddess) worship and the underlying message is the victory of good over evil.

Navaratri commences on the day-after Mahalaya Amavasya and celebrated for the next nine nights, culminating on Vijayadasami (literally means victorious tenth day). The tenth and final day is considered auspicious, especially for new beginnings. Hence, it is customary to start a new business or enroll in a new class or even school, on this day.

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Posted by on October 15, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



Krishna Jayanthi / Janmastami

Krishna Jayanthi or Janmastami marks the birth of Lord Krishna, considered in Hinduism as the 9th incarnation of Lord, while some sects within Hinduism consider him as Svyam Bhagvan or The Lord Himself. He was born in a prison cell to Devaki and Vasudeva of the Yadava clan, and was moved immediately & secretly to Vrindavan. There are a lot of stories around Lord Krishna’s mischievous childhood that portrays him as Makhan Chor (Butter thief), the protector of Vrindavan (by lifting the Govardan Hill and protecting the villagers from the angst of Lord Indira), Kalinga Nardanam (danced on the head of a poisonous serpent Kalinga and tamed the serpent) and lover of the Gopis (milkmaids) in Vrindavan.

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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



Rama Navami

Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and a just-ruler whose reign is a symbol of peace and prosperity. It is also significant as it is celebrated in the beginning of summer when the Sun is moving towards the Northern Hemisphere and Rama is supposed to belong to the Sun dynasty. The birth and story of Lord Rama is chronicled by Sage Valmiki in the epic Ramayana, meaning Rama’s journey.

Lord Rama is believed to be born on the ninth day of the bright fortnight (Sukla Paksha) in the month of Chaita, the first month of the Hindu Calendar. As He was born mid-day, people usually fast till mid-day, in anticipation of the Lord’s birth and then break the fast with the offerings to God. In South India, we usually make panagam (water sweetened with jaggery and spices), neer mor (watered down butter milk) and kosumbari (pre-soaked moong dhal flavored with green chillies and ginger) as offerings on Rama Navami.

The virtues of Lord Rama and why His worship is important is beautifully explained here.


Posted by on April 13, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



Tamil New Year

Although there is no single true Hindu calendar, mostly, Hindu new year falls around late March to early April. Different regions of India, celebrate the new year on different dates. Southern states of Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra celebrate Ugadi / Gudi Padwa on the same day (typically around late-March and early-April). Other states of India – Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu celebrate their new year in mid-April.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

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Posted by on April 11, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



Karadayar who?

Last Friday was Karadayar Nombu. Thanks to Bollywood, its North-Indian cousin, Karwa Chauth is much more popular. Karadayar Nombu typically falls at the cusp of tamil month of Maasi and Panguni and can fall at any time during the day – be it the dead of the night or right during the middle of the day. Thankfully, this year the Gods were smiling and it was right in the morning.

For me, the best part of the Nombu is the prasadam. Sweet (vella) adai is made as the offering for this nombu, and I wonder, why we don’t make this on other days! To compliment the sweet adai, a savory (Kaara) adai is also usually prepared, and as I had family over for dinner I made pidi kozhukattai with Rosematta rice as well.
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