Today, 8 January 2012 is Thiruvathira festival or Arudra Darisanam. It falls in Ardra Nakshatra (Thiruvathirai star) day in Margali Masam in Tamil calendar & Dhanu Masam in Malayalam Calendar. Arudra Darisanam is celebrated with utmost fervor in all Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu. Thiruvathira festival is women festival in Kerala.
In Thiruvannamalai Arunachala Temple, this festival is celebrated for more than 10 days, marking the conclusion on Thiruvoodal festival (following day of Makara Sankranthi). It is believed on this day Lord Natarajar performs Cosmic Dance. This Cosmic Dance celebration has great significance at Chidambaram Natarajar Temple, Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Thiruvalankadu Temple, Tirunelveli Temple and Kutralam Kutralanathar Temple in Tamil Nadu.
‘Thiruvathira Pattu’ (a song sung during Thiruvathirai), ‘Thiruvathirakkali’ or ‘Kaikottikali’ (a dance form performed during Thiruvathira) and ‘Pathirapoochoodal’ are the several aspects of cultural extravaganza of Thiruvathira festival in Kerala. For women-folk, first year’s Thiruvathira festival of their marriage has great significance.