South India is one of the oldest most sacred holy lands of India and of the world. The oldest language in the world Tamil is from the south of India. Among the world’s most beautiful, gigantic and ancient temples, and historical monuments and spots are found here. It has one of the richest cultures, heritages, literature, professional and personal systems etc.
There are numerous rituals, festivities, ceremonies, religious and spiritual programs etc that are held here every year and throughout the year. One of the prominent holy events followed predominantly by Tamil Hindus is the Masik Karthigai. Karttikai is the 8th Tamil Dravidian Hindu calendar month.
The Sanskrit word ‘Masik’ means monthly. Karthigai also means radiance, Deep-oil lamp light, star light. Karttikai as above is the Hindu month. Karthigai or Karthikai is associated with the star Karthika and Nakshatra Karttikai or Sanskrit name Krittika. The event of Masik Karthigai is also observed in remembrance and devotion to Lord Shiva and also Lord Kartikeya. Lord Kartikeya is the son of Lord Shiva and brother of Lord Ganesha.
Though Masik Karthigai is observed once every month, the main mega annual event called Karthigai Deepam is held in the Hindu month of Karttika. It will be held on the Gregorian date the 23rd of November in 2018. It is observed as per the Hindu calendar on the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartika or Karttikai. It corresponds to and always falls about Gregorian mid-November to mid-December period every year. Karthigai Deepam is mainly celebrated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Karthigai Deepam is also called the festival of lamps. Many natives, especially females light lamps, Diyas, and colorful lights etc at their homes and the surroundings. They perform prayers and prepare special sweets.
In the Hindu mythology, it is said that once Lord Shiva converted himself into a huge- like endless flame fire, the blaze of lights. It was to reflect his supremacy. Lord Shiva is among the top three deities, Trimurti, Trinity; the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Natives also seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Lord Kartikeya on this occasion of Masik Karthigai.
A Mantra for Lord Shiva is—
Om Namah Shivaya
ॐ नमः शिवाय