Post No. 11,246

Date uploaded in London – 7 SEPTEMBER 2022         

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Tamil calendar is solar calendar, i.e. based on the movement of sun. When it enters a zodiac sign the months begins. But other South Indians calculate the beginning of the month from the New moon day called Amavasyai. When Sun enters the first Zodiac sign, first Tamil moth begins.

Strangely the names of the months are lunar based. When the full moon is seen with a prominent star in Zodiac, then the month is named after it. Chitra is named after Star Chitra. That means the full moon happens in star Chitra.

(though stars are thousands of light years away from moon or earth, one can easily see the star and the moon together in the sky)

Tamils have some beliefs about each month; may be they were correct 2000 years ago, when transport facilities, medical facilities and communication facilities were scarce; and the weather condition was also different. If we go through each belief, we can easily find the scientific reason behind it.

For instance, if a person gets married in a month the woman may become pregnant immediately. Then they calculate her delivery time and see what facilities would be available at that time in her area. Then they from a common opinion and that becomes a belief or a proverb. In short all are based on experience. Now that the world has changed, all types of facilities are available in most parts of the world, the beliefs may be considered irrelevant.


1.Chitra (Tamil Month Chiththirai)

The first sign in the zodiac chart is Aries- Mesha Rasi. The travelling period of sun in this sign is called the month of Chiththirai. This is the first month of Tamil year. First day of this month falls on 14th of April. That is the New Year Day for the Tamils. Many communities celebrate that day in India and South East Asia.

Tamils believe that if a male child is born in this month, the father of the child will suffer a lot and there will be clashes between father and child.

Unless we get some statistics to prove this belief, we may ignore it. This is my opinion.

All full moon days are festival days for Hindus. Full moon days during non -rainy season are more important. Electric lights were not there in the world a few hundred years ago. So Hindus used natural light of sun and moon to celebrate big festivals.

Chitra Pournami or Purnima is one of the famous festival days in Hindu calendar. Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple Chitra festival attracts million people. Many temples in Tamil Nadu have their important festivals during Chithrai.

Sri Shankara Jayanthi, birth day of the greatest Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara, Rama Navami, Narasimha Jayanthi and Ramanuja Jayanthi are celebrated in this month.

Jayanthi or Thiru Nakshatram means birth day.


2.Vaikasi (vaikaasi)

This is the second month in Hindu Solar Calendar. Sun travels in second zodiac sign Rishaba, i.e, Taurus.

Tamil Hindus arrange auspicious events during this month. Marriages, Gruha Pravesa (house warming) , construction of buildings etc take place in this month.

Visaaka Star day (Viasaaka star and Moon together) known as Vaikaasi Visaakam is celebrated in Skanda/ Murugan temples. Millions of people visit Muruga/Kartikeya temples on that day.

For Buddhists Vesak (Visaka) is the most important festival of Buddha Jayanthi.

For Hindus, Tamil saints Sekkizar Jayanthi, Thiru Gnana Sambandar Jayanthi, Kanchi Mahaperiyavar Jayanthi (Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt (1894-1994) are important. This month roughly corresponds to May in English Calendar.

To be continued………………………

Tags- Tamil months, importance, beliefs, festivals, Chitrai, Vaikasi

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