Know Aadiperuku, a Celebration to Honour Our Water Resources
Our festivals coincide with specific occurrence and intend to remember and celebrate nature which has bestowed us with its resources. We strive to bring in interesting and valuable information on such festivals for the benefit of our readers. Aadiperukku is an unique South Indian and specially a Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi which occurs between July 15 and August 15. The festival coincides with the annual freshes of the rivers and to pay tribute to water’s life-sustaining properties. It is celebrated near river basins, water tanks, lakes and wells etc. of Tamil Nadu when the water level in the rises significantly heralding the onset of Monsoon.
Adiperukku, water ritual through religious practice
In India the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, Cauvery and Godavari are considered sacred. Just like the earth gives us food, water is considered as a sacred necessity to meet the needs of individuals. People began to worship water in the form of wells, tanks and rivers. It is common among people to throw fruits, saffron cloths, etc., when the rivers and lakes are in spate purely based on the belief that these rivers are the species of female deities. Similarly every temple has sacred wells and tanks, and water in these resources are considered pure. There are cultural developments of the society that highlight many variations on the theme of primeval water which shows that water culture and civilization represent human interest with sacredness.
Adiperukku, otherwise called Pathinettam perukku is peculiar to the all the perennial river basins of Tamil Nadu and major lakes water source areas and is intended to celebrate the water rising levels due to the onset of monsoon, which is expected to occur invariably on the 18th day of the solar month, Aadi, corresponding to the 2nd or 3 August every year. Hence “Padinettam perukku” – Padinettu signifies eighteen, and Perukku denotes rising. This festival is observed predominately by women in Tamil Nadu. The Adiperukku, as a water-ritual, is celebrated by women is to honor nature.
The 18th day of Aadi, usually August 2, is observed as ‘Aadi Perukku’, a day of offerings and prayers to these rivers, which mean so much to the lives and prosperity of the people. The day is an occasion for rejoicing particularly for those living on the banks of the all the main rivers, its branches and tributaries. There is a belief that young girls who do this puja offering Kaadholai (earrings made of palm leaf), Karugamani (black beads) and Kaapparisi (a sweet made of hand pounded rice and jaggery) will be blessed with good husbands. The families spend the evening by the river, eating preparations of rice like puliyodharai, lemon rice etc. Playing to the tune of Adiperukku folk songs and Kummi group by young women are the major attractions during this festival.