Joyous Kaarthigai Deepam to one and all!!
I would like to share few useful information in regards to this day and why Kaarthigai Deepam is celebrated in India.
I will start off with a myth from wikipedia…
Lord Shiva appeared as a endless flame of light before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, who each considered himself supreme and said that the matter could be tested if the two could search for Lord Shiva’s Head and feet. Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar(Sanskrit:Varaha,Tamil:Varahan) and delved deep into the earth, Lord Brahma that of a swan(Sanskrit:Hamsa,Tamil:Annam) and flew towards the skies. Lord Vishnu failed in his search and returned. But Lord Brahma, chancing upon a piece of Thazhambu, a flower, learnt from it that it had been floating down for thirty thousand years from Lord Shiva’s head. He seized upon this and claimed to Lord Shiva that he had seen the other’s top. Lord Siva realized the falsehood and pronounced that there would never be a temple for Lord Brahma in this world. He also interdicted the use of the flower Thazhambu in his worship. Lord Shiva appeared as a flame, this day is called Maha Deepam.
This festival is almost the same as Deepavali, which is the festival of lights. A row of vilakku(agal – clay lamp), during late evenings and night time, is lit in every home in India. The lamps are placed on top of kolams (A pattern like design of rice flour drawn infront of every house). The sight of this is very beautiful and divine. Karthigai deepam is observed when the moon is aligned with a group of six stars.
This festival is celebrated in Thiruvanaamalai hill. A huge bonfire is lit on this hill visible for several kilometers. This fire is called Mahadeepam, where by millions of Lord Shiva worshippers flock to observe this deepam.
I wish that this Karthigai Deepam will bring lot of joy, brightness, peace and harmony to everyone! God bless.