Bharani Deepam is the inaugural ritual of Karthigai Deepam and observed early morning on Karthikai Maha Deepam festival. In 2016, Bharani Deepam date is December 12. It is observed between 3 and 3.30 am on December 12.
This ritual is a fire sacrifice performed before the Surya temple. During this Deeparadhanai, a bowl of ghee is used to light five other Deepams symbolizing the Pancha Thathwa of Shiva (five aspects of Lord Shiva).
The chief priest of Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleshwara temple lights the Bharani Deepam and shows it for all devotees gathered there.
Preparations for Karthikai Deepam begin with lighting of Bharani Deepam. A large number of devotees witness the sacred fire sacrifice in Tiruvannamalai temple.