Chitra Pournami: April 2nd half -May 1st half
Chitra Pournami falls on the full moon day of Tamil month Chithirai. This is a 10 days festival carried out at the Arulmigu Lakshminarayana Perumal Temple.
During this festival Lord Muthukumaraswamy along with his goddesses Valli and Deyvaanai goes for a ride on a silver car -Velli Ratham-in the streets surrounding the temple. On full moon day people from all over Tamilnadu gather in thousands to watch the Lord’s Veedhi ula.
This festival is celebrated during the last and first 7 days of Chithirai, and Vaikasi respectively. During this period, the devotees exhibit their devotion to Lord Murugan by walking around the hill at dawn. Nowadays a new tradition has also cropped up in which people take the Girivalam by wearing a garland of Kadamba flowers. Mythologically it is considered blessed to make prayers to the temple and the hill from a revered distance. Considering the hill with all its Rishis and siddhas as the manifestation of God, people walk around the mountain in bare foot with all humbleness and respect. This ancient practice of walking around the hill in devotion has been going on for centuries and is known as Girivalam.
There is also a belief that the herbs around the hill act as a cure for many diseases.
Vaikasi Visakam -from may 2nd half to June 1st half
The Vaikasi festival is celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi. Visakam is believed to be the birth star of Lord Murugan.
The highlight of this 10 days festival is the darshan of Lord Murugan at the Ratham on the 10th day. The Vaikasi festival is celebrated with a lot of fervor all over the world including Malaysia, Singapore, and Srilanka etc. In Tamilnadu it is celebrated in all Arupadai Veedus especially in Thiruchendur.
Aani Annabhishekam: from June 2nd half to July 1st half
Aani in Palani is the time for Annabhishekam. It means anointing and decorating the idol with cooked and aromatic rice. The abhishekam is done in the hill temple, Periya Udayar temple, Perianayaki temple and Thiru Aavinankudi temple. On the day of Aani uthiram an abhishekam is performed to Lord Nataraja and then taken on a procession along with nalvar- of the Tamil saints Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar.
Aadi: from July 2nd half to August 1st half
Aadi is full of festivals in Palani.
Aadi Peruku is the day when Kailasanathar and Amman are worshiped by performing the Kannimar Pooja.
Aadi Kirthigai is celebrated magnificently in Palani. Thousands of devotees worship Lord Murugan by bearing Poo Kavadi.
Aadi Amavasai is the day on which devotees offer tonsure and take a bath in shanmuganadhi. By losing their hair the devotees symbolize that they are ready to give up their physical beauty-the ego and surrender themselves to god.
On these days the Perianayaki Amman Kovil wears a festive look and the devotees gather to witness the abhishekam and decoration of Amman in ‘Thanga Kavasam’ -golden apparel.
Kandha Sashti or Soora Samhaaram: 2nd half of October-1st half of November
The SOORA SAMHAARAM is celebrated during the Tamil month of Aypasi. This festival symbolizes the victory of Lord Murugan over the asuras Soorapadhman, Gajamugan, Singhamugan and Tharangan.
On this day only Lord Murugan comes down the hill to accomplish the Soorasamhaaram and after annihilating the Asuras he goes back to his abode up the hill. One of the battlefields between Murugann and Soorapadhman is Thiruvaavinankudi. The overall meaning is that one should eliminate the evils from his mind to change oneself into a purified person. The asuras represent the animal tendencies and evil characters in us.
From Pradhamai -day 1st- to Sashti -day 6th after Aypasi Amavasai -new moon day the devotees go on fasting as it is a belief that our sins would be washed away if we fast in devotion to god .
Thiru karthigai: Nov-Dec 2nd Half
All ‘kirthigai’ days of every Tamil month are important. But the Kirthigai day of Karthigai month gathers more importance among the devotees. The devotees come to witness the ‘veedhi ula’ –procession- of urchavamoorthi Murugan on all ten days up to Karthigai deepam day. On the day of the Karthigai deepam there is a ‘Thanga ther valam’-golden chariot-by Lord Murugan.
Ladies, on these days, worship Lord Murugan, Shiva and Periyanayaki amman with ‘Karthigai deepams’ .
Margazhi Pooja: 2nd half of December- 1st half of January
In temples all over Tamilnadu the Tamil month of Margazhi is important. During this month the doors of the shrine in Palani are open at 3 am and the ‘Thiruvembavai’ is recited in praise of Lord Shiva and Tiruppavai at Perumal Sannidhi.