Tamil Nadu celebrates many local, state and national festivals.
It is the harvest festival of thanks giving to Sun, Earth and the Cow. The festival is celebrated in the month of January for three days. Sugarcane, turmeric, sheaves of paddy, newly prepared jaggery, vegetables and pulses are offered to the Sun god. The earth and the cow are also worshiped and offerings were made. The festival ends with 'Kanum Pongal' on the third day when children enjoy watching the celebrations.
Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka, the elephant headed god is among the most worshiped deities of the State. The Ganesa Puja is performed with fervor and gaiety. The celebration ends on the ninth day when the idols of Vinayaka will be carried in procession chanting his name and submerged in water in wells, lakes, rivers or ocean. The festival falls on the month of .
Another festival that lasts for nine days as the name indicates. The goddesses of Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawathy, the consorts of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma respectively are worshiped. The festival falls in the months of September - October and is marked with traditional displays of handmade dolls.
This festival of lights is usually celebrated in Oct.- Nov. It generates an atmosphere of gaiety, friendliness and excitement.
Held in the temple of Madurai in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April), the festival lasts for 10 days. In the festival the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Shiva is enacted with pomp and gaiety. The marriage procession is the major attraction of the festival.
A holy festival that will bring you to Kumbakonam once in 12 years - the temple city that gets its name from "Kumbha" - the divine pot. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, held a pot containing nectar and the seed of creation. Shiva, in the form of a hunter shot an arrow at the pot - spilling the nectar into the famous Mahamagam tank at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.
Mysterious legends surround the church. The most famous being that of the ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors, who in the 16th century, vowed to build a great shrine for the Virgin Mary, for saving their lives in a terrible storm. The Velankanni festival attracts thousands, clad in orange robes to the sacred spot where the ship landed. Equally famous are the Virgin Mary's miraculous healing powers - earning for the church the name 'Lourdes of the East'.
Mamallapuram Dance Festival
This annual festival begins on the 25th of December and concludes during the first week of February. The programs are conducted on all Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays. Renowned dancers and musicians from all over India and even abroad will be participating in the festival.
These festivals are held in the hill stations of Tamil Nadu, namely Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud. Conducted in May-June, the highlights of the festival are cultural programs, adventure sports, boat races, flower and fruit shows etc.
A festival of dance, conducted in Feb.-Mar. at Chidambaram, a special tribute to Lord Nataraja (Shiva), the cosmic dancer. Renowned dancers from the country part take in this event that is staged at the premises of the golden roofed temple of Chidambaram.
The bronze statues of 63 Shivite saints in the magnificent Kapaliswarar temple at Mylapore, who lived in devotion and penance are taken in a colorful procession, once in every year, through the streets of Mylapore, Chennai.
In December, a music festival is conduced in Chennai to celebrate the priceless heritage of caruatic music and dance. A galaxy of star artistes, old and new from all over the country will part take in the celebration.
In January, chennai experiences a pleasant and cool respite from her famous hot weather . TTDC conducts a colourful a Trade and Tourism Fair in January. The exhibition presents a panorama of Tamil Nadu - all her places of tourist interest, her cultural wealth and economic progress.
National festivals like Independence Day, Republic day, Gandhiji's birthday etc. are celebrated throughout the state. Muslim festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Muharrum, Birthday of Prophet Mohamed and Christian festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday etc. are celebrated harmoniously as in other regions of the country.