Yanai Pandigai in Mandyam Iyengar community, Tamil Nadu

Yanai Pandigai or Aanai Pandigai is a festival observed on the Poornima day in Karthikai month. In 2020, Yanai Pandigai date is November 29.

Yanai Pandigai is popularly celebrated as Karthigai Deepam and Vishnu Deepam in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This festival is an important one for Mandyam Iyengars community.

It is dedicated to elephants and deepam (lamps). Mandyam Iyyengars are in large numbers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

Tiny elephants are made with clay and around them deepam are lit. Elephants are offered specially made recipes, fruits and jaggaery, sugarcane and other food products.

The clay elephants are decorated with colourful clothes and ornaments. Women and girls of the family go around the elephants and deepams for three times spilling coconut water and milk on them.

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