Tamil Nadu is a state located in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula. It is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
Chennai is the state capital and the largest city of Tamil Nadu.
Other major cities in Tamil Nadu include – Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchchirappalli, Vellore, Thanjavor, Kanchipuram, Udagamandalam (Ooty), Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, Kodaikanal, etc.
Tamil is the most widely spoken and official language of the state.
Diwali Celebrations in Tamil Nadu :
In Tamil Nadu, the festival is known as Deepavali and it is celebrated for a period of five days like other parts of the country, but in Tamil Nadu the celebrations are grand on two days which are the Naraka Chaturdashi (day before Diwali) and the Diwali Amavasya Day.
Just like in other parts of the country, people of Tamil Nadu celebrate Diwali by drawing colourful Rangoli’s (Kolams) outside their homes to welcome goddess of wealth – Lakshmi, wear new clothes, eat lots of sweets, exchange gifts, wear new clothes, decorate their homes with lights and diya’s, spent time with friends and family members, bursting lots of fire crackers, etc. But apart from all this they have something unique about their Diwali Celebrations as described below.
In Tamil Nadu. the Celebrations start one day prior to Narak Chaturdashi i.e., Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi (celebrated as Dhanteras in other parts of the country). On this day Tamilians clean their homes. They also clean all the utensils and smear then with lime, apply four or five kumkum dots on them and then fill them with water for the next day’s oil bath.
On Narkachaturdashi day, just like in other south Indian states, here also people worship God Yama, after sunset people light a lamp outside the house in the southern. They also burn an effigy of Narakasura and after that they take oil bath and burst crackers.
On the Diwali day, Tamilians wake up early and take an oil bath before sunrise, a custom arising from a belief that having an oil bath in the morning on the day of Diwali is equivalent to taking bath in the Ganges. For those hailing from Tanjore, the custom is to first take a small quantity of deepavali lehiyam (medicinal, Ayurveda paste) after the oil bath and then have breakfast. Often sweets are eaten after wearing new clothes. In almost all houses, items like ukkarai, velli appam, idly, chutney, sambhar, omapudi, boondhi are prepared. For lunch, jangri, pathir peni, or one variety of the poli are made.
People lit kuthu vilaku (oil lamp) in the pooja room after naivedhya (offering to the Gods) of the items, a plantain fruit is given to each member of the family followed by betel leaves and betel nuts.
People also perform ‘pithru tharpanam’ on this day. Those who have to perform ‘pithru tharpanam’ will have a second bath perform the tharpanam and don’t eat rice at night.
Many people also perform the Lakshmi Ganesh Puja as it is performed in other parts of the country.
The fourth day and the fifth day i.e, Bali Padyami and Bhratri Dwitiya or Yama Dwitiya are not celebrated in the state in grand manner.
The first Diwali of the newly wed couple in Tamil Nadu is known as Thalai Deepavali and it is celebrated by the family in a grand manner.
In Tamil Nadu, the Diwali celebrations officially come to end with Kaarthigai Deepam which is celebrated as festival of lights in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Tamil month Kaarthigai which coincides with Krithikai star. In most of the houses, on this day they lit a huge number of lamps.
Kaarthigai Deepam is celebrated in a special manner in Thiruvannamalai.
On this day, special poojas are performed to Lord Muruga.
In fact Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is the hub of the firecracker industry in India due to cheap labour.
How to Say Happy Diwali in Tamil Language :
Deepavali Nalvazhthukal (தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துகள்)