Post No. 11,259

Date uploaded in London – 12 SEPTEMBER 2022         

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Masi (maasi) is the 11th Tamil month. When the sun enters zodiacal sign Kumbha Rasi (raasi) Aquarius, the month begins.

Shivaratri (siva raatri) is the most important festival of this month. One day before the new moon day (amaavaasai) is the Mahashivaratri day, when Hindus go to Shiva temples all over India.

Another festival happens on the Full moon day of this month known as Maasi Magham. This is the day when the moon appears with Magha Nakshatra.

Every 12th year is celebrated as Mahaa Magham in Kumbakonam temple in Tamil Nadu. Kumbeswarar (Shiva) temple is visited by thousands of people on that day. Other temples join the festival by arranging procession of Gods. Lakhs of people take bath in the small tank known as Mahaamaga Kulam. King Krishnadevaraya’s visit to this event 500 years ago is in inscription.

In many places ,idols are taken to the river or sea and bathed. It is called Theerthavaari. Float festival (teppam in Tamil) happens in many temples.

Maasi Nilaa Paasi Padarum மாசி நிலா பாசி படரும் is a Tamil proverb which says the Purnima/ full moon day of the month is the brightest of all Pournamis. One can enjoy the moon light which even penetrates the green algae (paasi in Tamil) on the ground or ponds.

Hindu festival Holi, festival of colours, marking the beginning of Spring season, is celebrated, normally on Panguni Purnima day. But in 2023 it falls in Masi. (It is because in some calendars, the month begins on new moon day)

Kaama Dahanam (burning down of desire/sexual feeling by Shiva is observed during Maasi Magham or coinciding with Holi.



The last zodiacal sign is Meenam (Pisces). When the sun enters Meena Raasi, Tamil month Panguni begins.

Sri Rama Navami (raama Navami), Telugu New Year day Ugadhi (yugaathi), Karadaiyan Nonbu (kaaradaiyaan) are some of the significant festivals celebrated in Panguni.

Panguni Uttiram (uththiram) day is full moon day of the month. In Chennai Kapaleeswarar temple, 63 Saivite saints/Naayanmaars are taken in procession. In fact, all Shiva temples celebrate it with special Pujas. Kanchi Kamakshi (kaanchi Kaamaakshi) amman Temple festival also attracts a big crowd.

Other important days of the month are Karaikal Ammaiyar (kaaraikaal ammaiyaar) Thiru Nakshatram and  Varaaha Jayanthi.

In general the spring and summer seasons are used by all the temples for Chariot Festival (Ratha Yaatraa) and Float (Teppam in Tamil) festival. The two sesaons coincide with at least four Tamil months: Masi, Panguni, Chithirai and Vaikasi. Village deity (Grama Devata) festivals follow the major festivals.

All Tamil names derive their names from Sanskrit months. In fact ,there is no Tamil word. They are all Tamilised Sanskrit words. Kanchi Paramacharya (kaanchi paramaachaaryaa1894-1994) has lectured on this topic.

Aaaradhanaa/Guru Pujai means memorial day. Thiru Nakshatram/Jayanthi means birth day.

Both the followers of Shiva and Vishnu celebrate such days.

All Purnima (Pournami or Full moon days) days are festival days for Hindus.


Tags- Tamil months, Part 6, Masi, Panguni

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