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Tamil Calendar 2020: Tamil Festivals, Holidays

Last Updated: 12/16/2019 10:45:22 AM

Tamil Nadu takes pride in its age-old culture. It is a state in Southern-India known for its values. The state constitutes of people who follow Hinduism, which is different from that in Northern India. Hinduism in South-India, particularly in Tamil Nadu dates back to 5th century BC. Sangam literature is a proof to that. The names of Gods are different, the customs, rituals and everything else in Hinduism are awe-inspiring. Let’s discuss the festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu and how they are different from others. But before that, find out Tamil festivals, holidays and much more in our Tamil Calendar 2020.

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Tamil Calendar 2020: Important Dates and Holidays

Date & Day Festival
1 January, Wednesday New Year
6 January, Monday Vaikuntha Ekadashi
10 January, Friday Arudra Darshan
15 January, Wednesday Pongal
24 January, Friday Thai Amavasai
26 January, Sunday Republic Day
1 February, Saturday Ratha Saptami
8 February, Saturday Thai Poosam
21 February, Friday Maha Shivratri
8 March, Sunday Masi Magam
14 March, Saturday Karadaiyan Nombu
25 March, Wednesday Ugadi - Telugu New Year
2 April, Thursday Ram Navami
7 April, Tuesday Panguni Uthiram
14 April, Tuesday Puthandu/ Vishu
26 April, Sunday Akshay Tritiya
28 April, Tuesday Sankara Jayanthi/ Ramanuja Jayanthi
4 April - 28 April (Monday-Thursday) Agni Nakshatram
6 April, Monday Mahavir Jayanti
7 April, Thursday Chitra Pournami
14 April, Tuesday Tamil New Year/Puthandu/Ambedkar Jayanti
4 June, Thursday Vikasa Vikasam
20 July, Monday Aadi Amavasai
24 July, Friday Andal Jayanthi
25 July, Saturday Garuda Panjami
26 July, Sunday Avani Avittam Rigveda
31 July, Friday Varalakshmi Vrat
2 August, Saturday Aadi Perukku
3 August, Monday Avani Avittam Yajur Veda
4 August, Tuesday Gayathri Japam
7 August, Friday Maha Sangada Hara Chaturthi
11 - 12 August (Tuesday-Wednesday) Gokulashtami/Ashtami Rohini
15 August, Saturday Independence Day
22 August, Saturday Avani Avittam Sama Veda/ Vinayagar Chathurthi
22 August - 2 September (Saturday - Wednesday) Onam
7 September, Monday Maha Bharani
10 September, Thursday Ashtami Rohini
15 September, Tuesday Magha Shraddha
17 September, Thursday Mahalaya Amavasai
2 October, Friday Gandhi Jayanti
17 October, Saturday Navarathri
25 October, Sunday Ayudha Poojai/ Vijaya Dashami/ Saraswati Puja
26 October, Monday Vidyarambham
14 November, Saturday Deepavali/Lakshmi Poojai/Kedara Gowri Vratham
20 November, Friday Soorasamharam
29 November, Sunday Karthigai Deepam
19 December, Saturday Subrahmanya Sashti
25 December, Friday Vaikuntha Ekadashi
30 December, Wednesday Arudra Darshan

Festivals of Tamil Nadu in 2020

There are traditions that are popular in a specific region. The harvesting festival is celebrated on the same day, but it is called Lohri & Makar Sankranti in North-India, while same is celebrated as Pongal in Southern-India. Tamil Nadu has a strong base both technologically and culturally. The festivals celebrated and fairs organized are one-of-its-kind. In 2014, a special order was passed by the Supreme Court of India to ban a festival of Tamil Nadu - the bullfighting festival. We normally think of foreign countries when it comes to the topic such as bull-fighting. Amazing it is to know that in India, it was being organized for time immemorial. Bullfighting has been banned but other fairs are there which are a must-visit if you ever get a chance to attend. These are:

  • Puthandu - Tamil New Year 2020

The first day of the year, as per Tamil calendar 2020 is called Puthandu. It is celebrated by the Tamilians by adorning the entrance of their houses. Using rice flour and leaves of the mango tree and other natural ingredients, this decoration is done. Kanni is made using fruits, vegetables, rice, jewels, flowers, etc. This has to be the first thing that you see as this sight is believed to stay for the whole year and represents prosperity and abundance.

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  • Chithirai Thiruvizha

A festival celebrated in Madurai, Chithirai is one of the longest festivals celebrated in the world. It continues for a month (April) and is a celebration of the wedding ceremony of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, an avatar of Lord Shiva.

  • Mahamaham

Every 12 years, a grand festival of Kumbakonam is organized. It is similar to the Maha Kumbh celebrated in North, as devotees gather to take a holy dip in the river. The last festival was in 2016, and next will be in the year 2028.

  • Pongal

A four-day long harvest festival, Pongal is a popular festival which has the following constituents - Bhogi festival, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal, and Kaanum Pongal. Lord Sun is the center of this festival as for agriculture, sunlight is crucial. But every day has its own importance. For instance, Lord Indra is worshipped on the first day of Bhogi who is responsible for the rains.

People cook a dish made of rice on this occasion which is also named Pongal. Just like people get their homes decorated and whitewashed on Diwali, Tamilians do it on Pongal. For a new beginning, it is mandatory to get rid of the past. This festival signifies the same. A bonfire is lit in which people put old furniture and belongings that are no longer of use. A special custom is to paint the horns of buffaloes.

The main day of Pongal i.e. the second day called Thai Pongal is when people dress up in traditional attire and couples give away sugarcane, coconut and old vessels. On the third day, Mattu Pongal is celebrated. On this day, cows are worshipped. The last day of Pongal is a perfect end as people visit each other, women fill a turmeric leaf with food items and pray for prosperity.

  • Natyanjali Dance Festival

Tamilians think highly of their culture as well as practices, even if it is the dance form practiced in Tamil Nadu. A special festival of dance is celebrated here, as a tribute to Lord Nataraja. This festival is celebrated near Shivratri and 300 - 400 dancers gather to showcase their talents during these five days.

  • Thaipusam

In the month of Thai, on a full moon day, the birthday of Lord Subramaniam is celebrated. The younger son of Lord Shiva is revered in a similar way as Lord Shiva himself in the North during Kanwar (Kavadi) yatra.

  • Thiruvaiyaru Festival

Not just a dance festival, Tamil Nadu also celebrates a music festival. Honoring the famous musician and composer Saint Thyagaraja, this festival is organized every year in the month of January.

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  • Karthigai Deepam

A ten-day long festival of lights is celebrated by Tamil people when the moon is aligned with Karthigai Nakshatra (constellation) . It is believed that Lord Shiva visited Thiruvannamalai hills and to offer gratitude, they light a huge fire with camphor and ghee. A tradition of shouting the words - “Annamalaiyarku Arohara” is also common. The motif is to get rid of the negative energies and problems. A fair is also organized for the occasion.

Tamil Nadu takes pride in its customs, language, and culture. The language which has a rich literature is one of the oldest in the world. The names of seasons as per the Tamil Language are - Chithirai, Vaigāsi (Spring), Āni, Ādi (Summer), Āvani, Puratāci (Monsoon), Aippasi, Kārthigai (Autumn), Mārkazhi, Tai (Winter) and Māsi, Panguni (Prevernal).

We hope you enjoyed reading about the 2020 festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu, and the dates when these will be observed. Stay tuned for more information about our history and culture on AstroCAMP.

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