Thiruvannamalai Karthikai Maha Deepam is a festival observed in the Tamil Karthigai Month at famous Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleshwara swamy temple in Tamil Nadu. In 2018, Thiruvannamalai Karthikai Maha Deepam date is November 23.
It is celebrated on Kartikai Pournami, the Full Moon day in the month of Kaarthikai. This festival coincides with Krithikai nakshatram. In Thiruvannamalai, Maha Karthigai Deepam is celebrated for 10 days. It is popularly known as Karthikai Brahmotsavam.
On first day of Karthikai Deepam festival, the celebrations begin with Dwajarohanam. Procession of Lord Chandrasekhara swamy is commenced on the second day during the festival. Surya Vahana seva is performed on the third day. Kamadhenu vahana seva is done on fourth day to Periya Nayagar. On the twelfth day, Karthikai Deepam festival comes to a grand conclusion when Lord Arunachaleshwara is taken our for pradakshina known as Girivalam.
It is also celebrated as the extension of Deepavali. Kartigai Deepam is observed with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm in other temples of Tamil Nadu. The festival is celebrated for three days in the state.
Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated as Vishnu Deepam in Lord Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu. This festival is observed as Yanai Pandigai in Mandyam Iyengar community in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Here is the full schedule of Thiruvannamalai Karthigai Deepam 2018
The first day – 14 November 2018 – Karthika Deepam festival begins with the hosting of the flag signifying the commencement of the festival also known as Dwajaroghanam. In the morning and night Lord Arunachaleswarar will be taken out on the silver vahana for procession. The Panchamurthis(Panchamurthigal) are also taken out in the procession. The Panchamurthigal are Lord Ganapathi, Lord Murugan, Lord Sandeswarar, Lord Arunachaleswarar and Goddess Parvathi.These processions are carried out on different vahanas after the Deeparadhana is done at the kalyana mandapam.
The second day – 15 November 2018 – Karthigai Deepam festival commences with the Lord Panchamurthigal coming on Indira Vimanam the chariot of Lord Indira.
The third day – 16 November 2018 – Karthigai Deepam festival the ceremony begins at night with the Lord Panchamurthigal coming in procession majestically on the Simha vahana, the chariot of lion.
On the fourth day – 17 November 2018 – of Karthikai Deepam the Lord Panchamurthigal comes in the procession that starts at night on the kamadhenu vahanam. The auspicious tree Karpaviruksha is also on the side of the lord. This tree is believed to grant all the wishes that the devotees seek without fail.
The fifth day – 18 November 2018 – Karthikai Deepam festival begins at night. This procession on the silver rishaba vahanam is very appealing and splendid to witness. Lord Panchamurthigal goes on this vahana that is about 25 feet tall. A big umbrella with about 17 feet in diameter is carried along in the procession.
The sixth day – 19 November 2018 – Karthigai Deepam festival commences with a night procession of Lord Panchamurthigal on the silver chariot that is beautifully crafted and simply imposing when it comes around the temple.
The seventh day (20 November 2018) of Karthikai Deepam festival Lord Panchamurthigal starts with the procession on the Maha ratham that is very huge and it almost occupies the full width of the road. This ratham is made of pure wood that is strong and rugged.
The eighth day (21 November 2018) – Karthigai Deepam festival begins at night with the Lord Panchamurthigal going out on procession on the huge horse vahana. The speciality of this horse is that all the four legs of this horse are in the air and they do not touch the ground.
On the ninth day (22 November 2018) of Karthigai Deepam festival the devotees can witness Lord Panchamurthigal going out procession on the Kailasa Vahanam. This ceremony is mostly conducted on the ninth night.
The tenth day (23 November 2018) – Karthigai Deepam festival starts at around four o clock in the early hours and the Bharani Deepam is lit at the temple. In the evening the Mahadeepam is lit on the top of the hill at around six o clock. This is a very important ceremony during the Karthigai Deepam festival at Tiruvannamalai. Arunachaleswarar is said to be visually represented in the form of agni on the hill top. There is a very mammoth gathering on this day at the Arunachaleswarar temple to witness this glorious and sacred event. The night ceremony starts with Lord Periya nayagar going out procession on the Rishaba vahanam that is made of gold. This is another spectacular event at Arunachaleswar temple at Tiruvannamalai.
Theppal – Lord Chandrasekarar, Lord Parasakthi,Lord Subramaniar goes in the boat and this is called Theppam, since it carried out in the tank. Lord Arunachaleswarar goes procession round the hill, known as Girivalam or pradhiksahana. With this ceremony the Karthigai Deepam festival at Arunachaleswarar temple comes to a grand conclusion with the devotees taking back home some divine blessings and memories from this ancient holy city Tiruvannamalai.