Festivals of Tamilnadu are great occasion to rejoice. A large number of festivals are celebrated in Tamilnadu. Tamil Nadu celebrates common Festivals of India like Mahashivaratri, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Deepavali, Ram Navami, Srikrishna Jayanthi (Gokulashtami), Navaratri, Akshaya Tritiya, Budha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanthi, Bakrid, Ramzan, Christmas, and Easter.
Apart from these, they also celebrate main festivals like Pongal, Karthigai Deepam and also the following Festivals unique to their State -
Music and Dance Festival - The classical and music festival is held at Chennai at various places from mid December to mid January. Performances include Vocal and Instrumental music, Dance - solo and group, both by junior and senior artistes. Even upcoming artists get a chance to perform along with well-established artists to exhibit their talents, during this time.
Chithirai Festival - This Tamil Nadu festival is celebrated in the month of Chithirai, the first month of Tamils, at the advent of spring, at Madurai, marking the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi, the deity of Meenakshi Temple with Lord Shiva. On the full moon day the idols of gods and goddesses from the temples in Madurai are taken to the bed of the River Vaigai, in colorful processions of thousands of people. This is a grand festival of Tamil Nadu.
Natyanjali Festival - This grand Dance festival is held at Chidambaram, dedicated to the Cosmic Dancer, Lord Shiva, during February-March. Starting on Mahashriva Ratri day and lasts for 5 days, this festival is celebrated at the Chidambaram's gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses. The dancers from all over India consider this as a great honour to be able to participate in this festival to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. This grand festival is designed to promote a universal message of "Unity in Diversity".
Thai Poosam Festival - This festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (January-February) on Full Moon day. Lord Murugan is worshipped during this festival, and is celebrated in a grand manner in all Murugan temples. The special pooja for this festival is carrying kavadi, which symbolizes the carrying of one’s burden and then resting it at the feet of the Lord.
Dance Festival Mamallapuram - This grand cultural festival is held at Mamalapuram (Mahabalipuram) starting on 25th of December and lasting for six weeks. Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Odissi and other dances are performed in an open-air stage, attracting large crowds of tourists from all over the world.
Velankanni Festival - This grand festival is held in the Velankanni Church, as a mark of saving the ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors in the 16th centuary. Equally famous are the Virgin Mary's miraculous healing powers - earning for the church the name 'Lourdes of the East'.
Summer Festival - The Summer festival, also called as The Annual Tea and Tourism Festival, is celebrated at the Nilgiris like Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud, the beautiful hill stations of Tamil Nadu. This festival is held during January-February. During this festival flower and fruit shows and boat races are organised.
Vaikasi Visakam - Vaikasi is the second month of Tamil Calendar, and the Vaikasi Visakam festival is celebrated on the full moon day with great festivity and Lord Muruga is worshipped. At Tiruchendur and Thiruparankundran, devotees carry milk pots and this day is considered as a day of enlightenment.
Budha Purnima is also celebrated on the same day,on which day Gautama Buddha is said to have been born, got enlightenment and attained Nirvana.
Want to know more about the festivals? Get this book.