Post No. 11,257

Date uploaded in London – 11 SEPTEMBER 2022         

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,




Markazli (maarkali or maarkazi) is considered a very holy month by the Hindus. The month begins when the sun enters the Hindu zodiacal sign Dhanus (Sagittarius).

This is the ninth month in the Tamil calendar. All the South Indian temples open very early in the morning around 4 AM (Brahma Muhurtham) and start the Abhisheka and Aradhana.

Tamil saint poetess Andal’s Thiruppaavai and Tamil Saivite saint Mankikkavaasagar’s Thiruvempaavaai are sung by Tamil Hindus. Temples do broadcast them in the early morning. People get Ven Pongal (spicy rice)  and Sarkkarai Pongal (sweet rice) as Prasad.

Bhajan groups go round the towns in the early morning.

My Experience

As a little boy I used to accompany my father in the Bhajan that goes round Madurai city. There were two women Mrs Raajammaal Sundararaajan and Mrs Seetaalakshmi Baalakrishnan who attracted many young girls and trained them in singing Thiruppaavai.

In front of all the Tamil houses one can see beautiful Kolams( rangolis). Kolaattam and Kummi, two Hindu folk dances are performed in public places by young Hindu girls. The belief is that young girls will get good and handsome husbands if they do practise vow/Vrata during this month.

People go to rivers and tanks to take early morning bath. In villages women make cow dung balls and place flowers of Pumpkin in it. It will be in the middle of the kolam/rangoli in front of the houses.

Since it is a cold month, there is a Tamil proverb saying it is not good for the cattle: Maarkali maathak kulir Maadu Makkalukku Peedai (the cold wind of the month Maarkazi gives distress and illness to cattle and people).

.மார்கழி மாதக் குளிர் மாட்டு மக்களுக்குப் பீடை

Maanikkavasagar festival is held in many Shiva temples. Arudra Darisanam of Nataraja /shiva and Vaikunda Ekaadasi are the most important festivals of this month .

All Shiva and Vishnu temples attract lakhs of people during these days.

End of the month comes Bhogi, festival when Hindus clear all unwanted old stuff and make bonfires. It is Pongal eve.

Tamil Hindus don’t celebrate any auspicious event in Purattasi or Markazi. NO marriages take place in this month.

In addition to festivals, Thyaagaraaja Aaaraadhanaa and Kanchi Paramaachaarya Aaaraadhanaa and Ramana Jayanthi are held during this month.

Dhanur Maatha puja in the temples finish on the last day. Some people celebrate Hanumath Jayanthi.

Vishnu temples celebrate 20 days of  festival called Pakal Paththu and Raap Paththu ,meaning 10 Days of Day time Pujas and 10 Days of Night Time Puja.

During Arudra Shiva festival and 20 days of Vishnu festival,  idols are taken round the town in processions.

Arudra festival, also known as Thiruvaathirai, is celebrated by Malayalees on a grand scale.

 A special dish called sweet Kali accompanied with spicy Koottu is made on Arudra day. Hundreds of Pots of buttery Sweet Pongal/ Sarkkarai Pongal is made in Vishnu Temples on the Koodaarai valli day.

A Hindu Panchaangam (almanac) gives al these days in bold letters.



‘Thai’ is the tenth month in Hindu calendar. When the sun enters zodiacal sign Makara Raasi (Capricorn), Thai begins. It is the period of harvest in South India. Pongal or Makara Sankraanti (sankaraanthi) is celebrated on a grand scale by the Hindus.

The Northward travel of Sun begins and this six month period is called Uttaraayana Punyakaala.

Nowadays Non Hindus also join this Hindu festival like Malayalees do during Onam. Both are pure Hindu festivals worshipping Hindu Gods. Politicians distorted both these Hindu festivals.

Makara Sankraanti is celebrated in India and South East Asian countries. Very few Hindu festivals are based on the movement of Sun (solar) and Sankraanti is one of them. Thai first day, roughly corresponding to 14th of January is the Pongal day. Pongal means Rice Pudding (we have one or two articles in this blog about the Pongal festival in this blog).

Just before Pongal, people clean the houses and whitewash them. Next day of Pongal is Kaanum Pongal (Kanu) and Maattup Pongal. On the day of Maattu/Cattle Pongal ,all the cows and bulls are decorated and taken round he town with Lord Krishna’s idol. Bull Fighting events are organised by Yadava Community in many villages. Turmeric and Ginger plants are used in decoration of Pongal pots. Tamils boil newly harvested rice in newly made burnt clay pots. Sugarcane is consumed during this season.

Like Diwali, new clothes are worn by men and women.

There is a proverb in Tamil saying Thai Piranthaal Vazi Pirakkum; if Thai is born, a way will be seen. The meaning is ‘Thai brings hope of marriage and accumulation of money’. Since Tamils don’t celebrate marriages during the two months , every man and woman wait for Thai. தை பிறந்தால் வழி பிறக்கும்.

Dravidian politicians announced Thiruvalluvar Day should be celebrated on the third day (16th January).

Ratha Saptami, Bheeshma Ashtami are important days for Hindus. They give oblation to the greatest celibate Bheeshma (Bhishma).

Thai Amavasai (new moon day in Thai) is celebrated all over India with holy dip in the holy rivers or sea. Like Aadi Amaavaasai, millions of Hindus give oblations to the departed souls. All Hindus, irrespective of castes, remember their ancestors on these two new moon days.

Thai Poosam (Pusam star with Purnima) is a big day of celebration in Hindu Temples. Many temples including Madurai Temple organise Float Festival (Teppam) for gods and goddesses.

In Vadalur in Tamil Nadu, big festival is organised by the devotees of Hindu saint Ramalinga Swaamigal known as Vallallaar.

To be continued………………………

tags- Tamil months, Markazi, Thai, Pongal, Arudra, Thiruvathirai, Vaikunda Ekadasi

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Ammunni Balasubramanian

     /  September 11, 2022

    In Margazhi month I go with bananas group. At the end they give hot pongal in poovarsu leaves. Hot and tasty.

    Sent from my iPhone

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: