Thiruvadarai is the star Arudra. The prefix Thiru denotes its enormous size (several crore times bigger than the sun). The only other star with this prefix is Thiruvonam, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

The festival Thiruvadarai is celebrated on the day that the star occurs in the month of Margazhi (December-January). It is the day on which Lord Shiva as Nataraja is believed to have performed his cosmic dance.

Arudra signifies a red flame. Lord Shiva in the form of light performs his functions of creation, protection, destruction and concealing.

The temple at Chidambaram celebrates the day with a great abhishekam. The offering of Kali (a sweet dish made of pounded rice and jiggery) is made to the Lord and then distributed amongst devotees, who accept this as a gift of bliss from the Lord himself.

There is a story about how Kali came to be the neivedyam. Sendanar, a devout follower of the Lord, would eat only what was left over from the food that was offered to the Lord. One Thiruvadarai day in Margazhi he offered a humble repast of Pittu and Kali, with the regret that he could not offer anything better. The Lord was so pleased wtih his devotion, that he showered Sendanar with Pittu and Kali. Ever since that miracle occurred, Kali is made as the main offering to Lord Nataraja on this day. It is served with a koottu which has seven varieties of vegetables.

In Sirgazhi, this day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Saint Thirugnanasambandar, commemorating the day when the saint as a baby was breastfed by Parvati.

In Thirupperundurai, the day is observed as the birth anniversary of Saint Manickavasagar.

This year, Thiruvadarai will be celebrated on 8th January, 2012.

7 thoughts on “Thiruvadarai

  1. It was very informative and thanks for explaining in detail about the festival which our ancestors celebrated with great Bhakthi.

  2. when my boss from Mumbai enquired about thiruvadarai I couldn’t explain to him. thanks for your input. I have forwarded the mail to him.

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2013-05-07 03:45:31