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Chithirai Thiruvizha Festival 2024: A Sacred Union

By March 18, 2024No Comments
Chithirai Thiruvizha Festival 2024 A Sacred Union

Tamil Nadu, also known as the Temple Land of India, is near to celebrate one of the most glorious and energetic festivals of their state – The Chithirai Thiruvizha. The festival celebrates the union of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva in their avatar forms, and Lord Vishnu is considered to be the brother of the bride. This festival is one of the most celebrated yet awaited festivals in Southern India. Let us learn more about their glorious event.

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Dates of Chithirai Thiruvizah Festival

The dates for this festival are considered to be in the first month of the Tamil calendar, which is the month of Chithira. With the new Moon, the festivities begin for this festival. Also, keep in mind that it is a 15-day festival. Let us have a look at which dates this festival is going to take place in 2024. These Madurai Chithirai Thiruvizha 2024 dates are as follows:

  • Kodi Yetram – 12th April 2024
  • Pattabhishekam – 19th April 2024
  • Digvijayam – 20th April 2024
  • Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Thirukalyanam – 21st April 2024
  • Thiru Therottam (Ratha Utsavam, Vadam Pidithal) – 22nd April 2024
  • Sri Kallazhagar Vaigai Aatril Ezhuntharural – 23rd April 2024

Legends Related With Chithirai Thiruvizah 

The story of the Meenatchi Thirukalyanam festival is related to the avatars of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, namely Meenakshi and Sundareshwara. In this tale, Lord Vishnu plays the part of Goddess Meenakshi’s brother. 

1. Birth of Meenakshi

According to the age-old traditional tale, Meenakshi was the daughter of King Malayadhvaja and Queen Kanchana of Pandya. They did not have a child for a long time, so they performed some rituals and traditions in the hope of getting an heir to their throne. During the rituals, a three-year-old girl came to life from the fire. 

The happy couple named her Meenakshshi. She was a special child for two reasons. First, it was told by her parents that she was the form of Goddess Parvati and that Lord Shiva would come to marry her. Another is because she was born with three breasts. 

2. Meenakshi and Shiva Unite

Meenakshi was trained in warfare. After her father’s demise, she took to the throne and conquered all she could. She then started the conquest of Kailasha. Upon reaching the mountain of Kailash, she instantly fell in love with Lord Shiva upon seeing him.

This made her realise that she was none other than a form of Parvati. This is the time when her third breast fell off. Lord Shiva told Meenakshi that he would come to marry her as promised, and thus, she must return to her state and wait for his arrival. 

3. The Wedding of Meenakshi and Sundareshwara

It was finally the day of Meenakshi and Sundareshwara’s wedding. Lord Shiva, in the form of Sundareshwara, arrived at Madurai to marry Meenakshi. Meenakshi’s brother, Alagar, who is seen to be a form of Lord Vishnu, was also invited to the wedding. He was quite excited about his sister’s wedding and started the journey to reach Madurai from his place of residence. 

In order to protect himself, he decides to travel as a robber. However, at times, he needed to hide from the guards; along with this, the dense forests of Alagar hills played a part in delaying him. Upon reaching the river Vaigai, he realised that he was late and his sister was already married. Meanwhile, Lord Shiva took the form of Alagar and performed the Kanyadan. 

He did this to showcase that Vishnu and Shiva are all the same. Upon learning this, Vishnu was angered. He, thus, decided to return. Upon learning about Vishnu’s fury, Meenakshi and Sundareshwara went to the Vaigai River. There, they pacified Alagar and took the gifts he had given them as wedding presents. 

Also Read: Somvati Amavasya 2024: Significance, Vrat Katha and Rituals

Significance of Chithirai Thiruvizha

As the story mentioned above suggests, this festival is known to celebrate the sacred bond of Shiv and Parvati and also the bond between Shiva and Vishnu. The marriage signifies their love and commitment towards one another; however, apart from this, the time when Shiva took Alagar’s avatar signifies that Shiva and Vishnu are the same. 

Apart from this, the festival is also seen as a uniting factor for the worshippers of Shaiva and Vishnava. This festival combines both aspects: the wedding from the Shaiva sect and the Alagar incident from the Vaishnava sect. It is considered to be a beginning to bond the two parts of the Hindu religion. The beauty of this festival is that it brings together people from both sects to celebrate the festival religiously. 

Festivities of Chithirai Thiruvizha

The festival is unique as it is one of the longest festivals celebrated in the entire nation. It consists of 15-day festivities that include 6 crucial and significantly important events. Let’s examine these festivities and how people tend to celebrate them. 

1. Kodi Yetram (12th April 2024)

The Kodi Yetram is most commonly known as the flag hoisting. It happens on the first day of the Madurai festival. During this event, the chief priest of the Meenakshi temple hosts the holy flag of the temples. This indicates the beginning of the festival. The flag is said to stay until the end of all the festivities for the Chithirai Thiruvizha. 

2. Pattabhishekam (19th April 2024)

The Pattabhishekam, also known as the coronation ceremony, takes place on the 8th day of the festival and is highly significant. In this ceremony, Meenakshi is crowned as the queen of Madurai and given the power to rule the Pandya kingdom for the next four months. 

3. Digvijayam (20th April 2024)

Digvijayam is another significant event of this festival, held on the 9th day. This ceremony showcases that Meenakshi, after being crowned Queen, goes into war with the neighbouring places and emerges victorious. She also goes to Kailasha, finds Lord Shiva there, and instantly falls in love with him. 

4. Meenakshi Sundareshwara Thirukalyanam (21st April 2024)

This is one of the most important days of the festival as it is the wedding day. The Kalyanam, or the wedding, happens on the 10th day of the festival. On this day, the devotees visit the Meenakshi temple to take a holy dip in the golden lotus lake. After this, they worship Meenakshi following the age-old traditional practices.

5. Thiru Therottam (22nd April 2024)

Thiru Therottam is another significant ceremony that takes place on the 11th day of the festival. It is also commonly known as the Rath Utsavam. After the wedding, the newlyweds, Meenakshi and Sundareshwara, come out in beautiful chariots to see their subjects. It is also known as a ceremony where the newlyweds visit their kingdom and give their people the first look. 

6. Sri Kallazhagar Vaigai Aatril Ezhuntharural (23rd April 2024)

Lastly, the Sri Kallazhagar Vaigai Aatril Ezhuntharural takes place. This ceremony is significant as it demonstrates the part where Lord Vishnu refuses to enter Madurai and proceeds to return to Alagar. Here, Meenakshi and Sundareshwara go to pacify him. 

Also Read: Phalguna Amavasaya 2024: Seek Blessings from Your Ancestors!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When is Chithirai 2024?

Chithirai 2024 will begin on 12th April 2024 and will continue till 24th April 2024.

2. How long is Chithirai celebrated for?

Chithirai festival is a huge deal in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated for 15 days and depicts the entire tale of Meenakshi, Sundereswara, and Alagar.

3. In which state Chithirai Festival is celebrated?

Chithirai festival is known to be the most glorious and celebrated festival of Tamil Nadu.

4. What is the Meenakshi Kalyanam festival?

Meenakshi Kalyanam, also known as Chithirai, is a festival that celebrates the wedding of Lord Shiva as Sundereswara and Goddess Parvati as Meenakshi.

5. When was Chithirai festival started?

The Chitthirai festival began during the years 1623-1659.

6. Which God is worshipped in Chithirai festival?

The Chithirai festival is about the wedding of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva in their Meenakshi and Sundereshwara avatars. Lord Vishnu is also known to be the brother of Meenakshi in this festival.

Also Read: Thrissur Pooram Festival 2024: Celebrating Unity in Diversity!

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About Rishika

A writer with numerous thoughts, jotting it down for the world to see; with over 3+ years of experience in content writing and curation.