Karthikai could possibly be called the South Indian equivalent for Diwali. While Diwali for us means Ganga-snanam (purifying bath), new clothes and of course, crackers, it is Karthikai for which all the lamps come out in full force... especially the earthen ones! The festival is celebrated over 3 days - the first day is called Bharani Deepam, the second is called Annamalai Deepam, and the third is Sarvalaya Deepam. The second is the main day, when a huge lamp is lit on the holy mountain of Thiruvannamalai, symbolising the form of Shiva as a never ending pillar of light (Yes, that's another long story, one I dont have time to write right now!).
In our south-Indian dominated colony, Karthikai arrives with much fanfare, with special pujas in the temple, which I have never attended, thanks to having to celebrate the festival at home, and stay guard over the lamps, which have to be constantly replenished with oil! But more interesting are the beautiful red and white kolams decorating every house and the beautiful lamps which light up the usually dark passages. I have earlier written posts on Karthikai, mentioning different types of lamps, as well as my own celebrations, and this year, here are some photographs once again from the celebrations at my house.....
Welcoming you to my home on the first day.....
|A free hand kolam...|
|Now all lit up!|
|Those aren't the only lamps....|
|Some more lamps in the corner.|
|One of my favourites.. this one lasts for hours and hours!|
|Another pretty one...|
|The most important part of the festival - the prasadam! Pori urundai!!! Samhith must have eaten a dozen of these!!|
And now for the second day....
|Another free hand effort!|
|All lit and ready!|
|Kept inside on a plate...|
|Samhith bought this one at his school fair!|
|And finally, this was how the approach to our house looked!|
As you can see from these pics, we effectively blocked the path to not just our house, but also the neighbouring ones with our lamps! And this was just the beginning, for even the others lit their lamps a little later....though not as many as these!!! Apologies too all who had to navigate this flaming stairway for two whole days! Now to pack up all these lamps (more than 65 of them, yes, i counted!) for next year! Sigh!
- Karthikai at home - All lit up!
- Karthikai 2009 - Annamalai Deepam
- Karthikai 209 - Bharani Deepam
- Karthikai 2009 - A variety of lamps