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Panguni Uthiram is one of the most important festivals for Hindus. The important aspect of this day is that the Pournami and Uthiram start falls on the same day of Panguni month which is the last month of the Tamil Calendar year. This year it is celebrated on 3rd April 2015.
Significance of Panguni Uthiram
Panguni uthiram day is considered to be a holy day as it is stated in Puranas that the celestial weddings(Divine marriages) took place on this day. On this day, the marriage of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, Murugan and Deivanai, Rama and Sita. Also this day is the Birthday of Lord Iyappan. It is also stated in puranas that Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk churned by the Gods and Demons. We call this day as Mahalakshmi Jayanthi.
Most of the Hindu devotees fast on this auspicious day and carry Pal Kudam / Kavadi and walk to Murugan temple . Devotees from many parts of India, gather in the temples of Arupadai Veedu and pray to Lord Muruga.
Puranic (Legend) Story
According to Kandapuranam, there is a legend Manmadha Dhakanam. Manmadhan, the Lord of Kama disturbed the penance of Lord Shiva and the offended Lord Shiva destroyed the Lord of Kama into ashes. Rathi the wife of Kama Deva offered her prayers and request to bear the sins of her husband. Lord Shiva relented and reincarnated Manmadhan.
Festivals in Temples
It is learned from the holy Brahmanda Purana that on the day of Panguni Uthiram every holy water mixes with Thumburu teertha (sacred water tank in Tirumala Tirpati). We are learning from inscriptions about the existence of these festivals and celebrations as early as that of the Emperor Rajaraja Chola.
The festival is celebrated over a ten day period in most of the Murugan Temples. People will assemble in thousands to witness car festivals at Palani (a town in South Tamil Nadu. Men will observe a typical foot pilgrimage (pada yatra) to the temples of Lord Muruga and cover about one hundred kilometers over three to four days and nights. Some people vow to offer ‘Kavadi’ to Lord Muruga. They will bear Kavadi (two vessels connected and tied at the end of a long stick) on their shoulders and walk across the distance. Womenfolk will offer cool beverages like buttermilk or even food to devotees. At Mylapore (part of Chennai city), the ten day Panguni Festival will come to an end on this full moon day with the Thirukalyanam (celestial marriage). Ayyappa Jayanthi (the birth anniversary) of Lord Ayyappa will also be observed and celebrated in Ayyappa temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Panguni Uthiram is considered as one of the most important vrat/fast for Lord Muruga. Vrat starts once we take bath in the morning of this auspicious day. In day, we need to eat only once. For people who cannot fast can take milk and fruits. in the evening, we have to vist the temple and pray to Lord Muruga, Shiva, Vishnu and get their blessing. As per the holy books, we have to observe this fast for 48 years to reach heaven and not to have rebirth. Observing this fast with faith and dedication would remove the obstacles in marriage and also we would be blesses with weath.