Monday, June 30, 2008


Aadiperukku or Padinettam Perukku is observed only in the Kaveri delta. The festival name translates as Adi (month) swell or 18th day swell because the waters of the Kaveri river invariably rise dramatically, often to the 18th step on the 18th day of the month of Adi, corresponding with the second or third of August every year.

Adi is the month for planting seeds and vegetation. Since monsoon is at its peak, there is enough water for crops. To the predominantly agrarian communities who live in this rice cultivation tract along the Kaveri river basin districts of Tanjavur and Tiruchirapalli, the increased water levels directly correlate with economic prosperity. This occasion is marked by offerings of chitrannam or rice cooked in different flavours,colours and ingre-dients to honour the river goddess and nature for life giving water.

The increased abundance of water makes this an auspicious day; Adi Perukku is celebrated as fertility and reproduction predominantly by women in Tamil Nadu. Families often bathe in the river, wetting the head (snanam), wear new clothes and perform a consecration (abhishekam) for Kaveri amman. They give visitors auspicious turmeric, kumkum, betel leaves and nuts (vetrilai pakku), fruits and flowers. Some use the day as an excuse to buy jewellery. After the women have performed the puja, families eat at home and rest. The men and children participate in the social picnic at the end of the day. In medieval times, Chola kings and royal households patronised this ritual.

Adi Pathinettu holds special significance for families with newlyweds. A bride is brought to her parent�s home by July 15 where she stays for the month of Adi. On Adi Pathinettu, the son-in-law is invited over, given new clothes, ornaments and sweets and the couple is reunited.

My take is : I don't live in the delta region. Im not agrarian. The newly weds are far far away and far apart too. And have no thoughts about either Kaveri amman or harvests.
Shouldnt I be celebrating some mountain festival instead?


Indrani said...

I didn't know of this.

For women any auspicious day is an excuse to buy jewellery. Oh! did I generalize? ;)

Maddy said...

The adi 'sales' had started in coimbatore when i was around last month...and the farmers were complaining of no rains and that seeding had to start..but it rained since then...

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

really? I've never heard of this festival. Maybe they differ from state to state! Do they celebrate in karnataka too?

kallu said...

Indrani, I don't know actually of any women who buy jewellery for 'adi'. But clothes yes, especially for newly weds. But now all cloth shops have sales for 'adi'. People stock up for the coming year then.

Why, do we need to buy jewellery? Do we still feel insecure or is it a need to look pretty?

kallu said...

Maddy, yes, it has been raining off and on.
You should have come for my daughter's wedding if you were in cbe. Some other time.
Yes, adi is really major in the shops now. And it starts long before adi.

kallu said...

Lakshmi, Im sure you have the equivalent in Karnataka.
We Indians tend to remember everything in our festivals from the Sun and Water(river)to cows and snakes and farming implements and books. From the highest to the lowest:-)


Any excuse to celebrate - that is us. We live in the city, where Kaveri is just a word we hear in squabbles with neigbouring states, yet on the 18th of Aadi, we make the ritual delicacies and wear new clothes! Just like Pongal.

About the separation of the newly married couple for Aadi, I read once this explanation (seems practical)- that a child conceived at this time will be born in the month of Chithirai (April 15-May15), the hottest period of the year, and therefore dreadfully uncomfortable for a new mother and baby.

kallu said...

Nice Raji you still take joy in celebrating every season.:-)

I have heard about this reason too.

We live in a community where the smallest excuse is seized to go give 'seer' or gifts to a married daughter. In my husbands' family, brothers (in lieu of fathers) still go around visiting and giving small tokens even when the sisters are grandmothers.
It is a rather nice way to keep the relationship alive. And I guess, in the old days, an excuse to go check on your daughter. Especially when , in many families, a married daughter rarely came back home to visit parents.