The word "Thirumanjanam" means Holy bath. Aani Thirumanjanam (Tamil month spanning June-July) is a special day (Uthram Nakshtram) when an Abhishekam is performed for Lord Nataraja. It is believed that Lord Nataraja gives darshan to his devotees in the months Aani and Margazhi. The Lord's form demonstrates his five-fold functions as creation, preservation, destruction, concealment and salvation.
The rattle (udukkai) in his right hand represents creation; his raised right arm with the open palm (abhaya hastam) protection; his left hand holding fire destruction; his firmly placed foot concealment; and his other, slightly lifted, leg salvation. Lord Nataraja is given six abhishekams in a year. Earth takes 365 days to complete one full circle around the sun.
That duration of Tamil months is divided into six
seasons - Marghazhi-Thai: early winter; Maasi-Panguni: late winter;
Chittirai-Vaikasi: early summer; Aani-Aadi: high summer; Avani-Purattasi:
autumn; Aippasi-Karthikai: rainy season. This six-season year of humans is said
to be one day for the immortals. These are when the six daily poojas (Kaala
Pooja) in temples are performed. During each of these six parts, an Abhishekam
has been ordained for Lord Nataraja. One of these is Ani Thirumanjanam, the
pradosha abhishekam on the evening of the day of Uthiram star in the Tamil
month of Aani (June-July).
Celebrations of Karthigai Deepam in Tamilnadu The celebrations begin with the flag hoisting on the Uttradam day and the festivity continues for nine days. The popular Bharani Deepam in five agantams is lit in Arunachaleswarar’s Sannithi in early morning hours of the tenth day. Devotees move to the Annamali Hills to worship the Bharani Deepam on the final day of the festival. It is believed that the flame of the lamp does not sputter on this day and divulge into the form of Lord Muruga, reaching up to the sky.
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