Thiruvathira is a Hindu festival celebrated in Tamilnadu and Kerala. Thiruvathira is also called Thiruvathirai or Ardra Darshan.
Arudra Darshan is observed in the month of Markazhi (Margashirsa) on the full moon day (Pournami or Purnima).
In Kerala, Thiruvathirai is celebrated during Dhanu Month. It falls in the Malayalam month of Dhanu( December- January).
It is believed that Lord Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva was born on this day and it is considered highly auspicious.
On this day Ardra Nakshatra coincides with Pournami and it is the longest night of the year.
The dance of Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Release, and Embodiment.
It represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. The cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy.
The first Thiruvathira after marriage for a woman is called as Poothiruvathira or Puthen Thiruvathirai.
Arudra signifies the golden red flame and Lord Shiva performs the dance in the form of red flaming light. Most of the temples around the world with Lord Nataraja and Shiva would celebrate Arudra Darshan.
Thiruvathira (Arudra Darshan) Dates from the year 2022 to 2025
Note: There is no Thiruvathira in 2022
Thiruvathira 2023 Dates
- Friday, 6th January
- Wednesday, 27th December
There is no Thiruvathirai in 2024
- Monday, 13th January
Thiruvathirakali or Thiruvathirai Dance
Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikali is a unique dance performed by the woman for the blessings of lord Shiva on her family.
As per Hindu tradition, this dance is what brought Kamadeva( God of Love) back to life when he’d been burnt to ashes by Lord Shiva’s fury.
Groups of over eight or ten women are seen dressed in traditional Kerala vesture, dancing in a circle. The graceful moves of the dance are both attractive and classy. The white sarees with multicolored borders along with fresh jasmines adorning their hair make for an amazing sight.
Video Source: ARN Media
Significance of Thiruvathrai
The most important Thiruvathira festival takes place at the Chidambaram Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu. The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva is enacted on the day.
Chidambaram is considered one of the five places that represent the Pancha Maha Bhootalu (Fire, Air, Water, Land, and Sky).
In Tamil Nadu, unmarried women will fast on Thiruvatirai day. They will take food before sunrise and start their fasting and they will break the fast after witnessing the moon rise.
Some people also start fasting (Nonbu) nine days before and ends on Thiruvathirai day.
In Kerala, Thiruvathira is an important traditional festival along with the other popular festivals, Onam and Vishu. This has been celebrated by the Nambuthiri, Kshatriya and Nair communities of Kerala.
The unmarried women observe a partial fast on this day to get good husbands and married women take a fast from the preceding day (Makayiram Nakshatra) and on the day of Thiruvathira for the well-being of their husbands and family.