Today is Padinettam Perukku / Adi Peruku.
It is celebrated on the eighteenth day of the Tamil Month of Adi to worship the river Cauvery. Mixed Rice Varieties to be served along with Curry vadams and wafers. Entertainment day - having food on the banks of the Cauvery along with family members .
Tamil month of Adi has many special days linked to it. One of the very famous festival I remember when my Amma (whose hails from a small village from Madurai named thuvariman Agraharam) narrates the entire story of her childhood celebration of the Adi peruku festival.
The first is the Mulaipaari Utsavam. This is done for the blessing of mankind with peace, prosperity and happiness. Nature worship in the form of Amman Deities are organized to shower Nature’s bountiful grace on human beings.
First week of the month they tie kaappu in the village and grow the mulaipari in a dark place. Then after a week they take out and perform pooja by bringing to the village god's place.
Once pooja is done they ask questions to village god like whether this year will there be good cultivation? and believed that if Yes, lizard will make sound from the surroundings. Then they bring back all those mulaipari to the mulai kottu thinnai and arrange everything in the order. Once it is placed, All females round it up and sing chorus (known as Thaanaanai) songs by praising the goddess with the clap of hands make slow rounds of the place where the plants in the bottom opened pots are kept. Then there will be performance by Karagam and Kavadi avattam groups on the same night.
Next day during afternoon there will be mavilakku pooja performed by people in the village to the God with Amma Odu (plant in the mud pot is called so). Then in the evening all the females in the family formed by two rows will carry down the Mulaipari to the Kanmaai(Lake) and do thaanaanai again as shown in the picture above. Then put the plant into the water pit at the kanmaai or river.
It is believed that the 'Surya Bhagawan' (the Sun God), changes the direction of his chariot from north to south, so this changeover is celebrated as a festival. This falls sometime between July 15th and August 15th, the beginning of the fourth month Aadi of the Tamil calendar. The house is adorned with fresh mango leaves and kolam. Milk extracted from coconuts is considered special in these days.
This festival is celebrated for the birth of the Tamil month of aadi. A lot of festivals are celebrated in the month of aadi. This is the beginning of all the festivals during the festival season. Once aadi festival starts all other festivals follow one by one. During the month of thai and aadi the sun changes directions so it is celebrated in that way.
Aadi festival is special for various ammans. It is celebrated in a special way in temples like mangadu, kamakshi temple etc. All sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays of this month are auspicious.
Every Friday is celebrated as "Aadi Velli".
The new moon day of this month is celebrated as "Aadi Amavasai" which is to remeber our ancestors who have reached God. That day donations will be made.
The pooram star of this month is celebrated as "aadi pooram" as the birthday of Aandal. It is celebrated in all temples in a grand manner.
The 18th day of this month is celebrated as "Aadi perukku" or "Pathinettam perukku". Since rain flows in this month, the rivers are filled with water. Water is also given from dams to agriculturists. On this day, people will prepare all varieties of rice and vadams etc. taking all to nearby river or beach with friends and give them manjal kunkum, vetrilai pakku, clothes etc This done to praise Goddeess Cauveri (Cauvery river).
In some regions in Tamil Nadu, son-in-law is invited to home and is given gifts on the day. Usually during Aadi month, the newly wed brides spend the month at her parent’s home and on Aadi 18 Perukku, a gold coin is added to the thali or mangalsutra in some southern districts of the state.