At six in the evening on full moon day in the Tamil Month of Karthigai, little oil lamps start to glow at every doorstep and all around the homes and in all temples throughout Tamil Nadu. It is the most divine and beautiful of sights. From the most humble dwellings to the palatial homes, lamps are lit as one even as the Maha Deepam is lit on the hill of Arunachala in Thiruvannamalai sharply at six p.m on the day of ThiruKarthigai.

The festival of Karthigai Deepam is celebrated when the full moon coincides with the rising of the six star constellation of Krithigai. The Tamil month of Karthigai is named after this constellation.

It is traditional to buy new earthen lamps every year. The photos below are of an old lady selling lamps in front of her home from whom I bought some lamps this morning. The lamp sellers from next door are her relatives and smiles light up all their faces as a joke is shared!

It is six in the evening and I have just lit lamps outside my home as have my neighbours. Sadly, my point and shoot sony camera is not good for night time pictures.

Dear readers, are there any other traditions observed during this festival? If so please share your views by posting a comment.

Surrounded by Lamps-A lady selling lamps outside her home in Tamil Nadu
Surrounded by Lamps-A lady selling lamps outside her home in Tamil Nadu
Share a Joke
Smiles and Lamps go so well together!
Smiles and Lamps go so well together!
Photo courtesy:  www.festivalsofindia.in



8 thoughts on “KARTHIGAI DEEPAM”

  1. The auspicious action of women lighting not just one lamp but multitude of them during this festival gives immeasurable joy to a bystander like me. This occasion is at once calming and joyous. Can you include in your post a few pictures of lit lamps and lamps being lit? In villages and small towns, the houses have a recess on the wall on both sides of the front door. Lit lamps used to be kept here also – the recess protecting the flame from the wind. Young girls used to be clad in new clothes and used to light the lamps together in a co-operative way, bursting out in easy and frequent laughter. A great sight to see and cherish – glimpse of which I got as I was traveling on a road in South India one evening during this Karthigai. Brought back nostalgic memories.

    Thanks for this post. Thanks much for keeping the valuable nuggets of the treasure that our tradition is, alive through your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you sir,for so much information on karthigai lamp lighting tradition. Reading your comment brought back old memories of the wall recesses on both sides of the front door and also at many places inside my grandmother’s house.How fortunate that you were travelling in Tamil Nadu in Karthigai. And of course there is the daily ritual of lighting a lamp in the puja room which is the exclusive right of the lady of the house!


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