Thiruvempaavai or Tiruvempavai is a ten day puja dedicated to Lord Shiva. In 2015-2016, 10-day Thiruvempavai ends on December 26 with Thiruvadirai Nombu (Arudra Darisanam). To celebrate the event, devotees throng to the temple of Arunachaleshwara swamy in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, to sing Thiruvempaavai.
It is a part of Thiruvaasagam composed in Tiruvannamali during Margazhi month. Thiruvasagam is a 20-hymns divine text composed by Saint Maanikkavasagar. It is recited during Margazhi month (December – January) by all devotees. The life story of Maanikkavasagar, ‘Thiru Vathaur Adigal Puranam is also read during the festival of Tiruvempavai.
Pavai Nombu or Margali Nonpu is also observed during these days during Margali month in Tamil Nadu. To add special attractions to the rituals, kolam is drawn in all temples and in front of the main entrances of temples to welcome the Lord. Unmarried girls perform the vrata with utmost devotion.
Thiruvempavai is a very famous event in Chidambaram. The tenth day and last day of Tiruvemaavai is known as ‘Aaruthra Darisanam’ (Thiruvadirai Nombu). Thousands of devotees throng to Chidambaram to eye the divine event.