Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility & prosperity being celebrated in South India for over 500 years. The 14th century Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, described the celebration of this festival elaborately. It gives us a glimpse of how our ancestors celebrated this festival and also how they revered the Mother Nature in those days. It is quite enthralling to read those old verses mentioning about the rivers passing through our neighbourhood. You may read those Sangam Tamil verses here.
Aadi perukku festival:
“Women getting ready to bathe in the river urging their men to dress in festive clothing befitting the day;
Women carry incense, flowers, offerings & fire when the flood waters come to Vaigai river.”Paripadal
In those days, people celebrated Aadiperukku with fun & fervor in the river basins especially in the Cauvery, Vaigai & Thamiraparani rivers. According to the Sangam Tamil literature, even the kings visited the river banks along with their men, horses & elephants and indulged in punalattam (water sports).
We, all Hindus, still treat the river water as the sacred water as it brings prosperity to the entire region. Earlier people viewed the swelling rivers as if the river Goddess were pregnant. So, women (particularly newly married) offer sweet & sour goodies, that are generally liked by the pregnant women, to the flooded rivers seeking the blessings of the Goddess.
Chitrannam for Aadi Perukku:
Nowadays, we celebrate Aadi Perukku as a festival of growth & prosperity. So farmers sow their seeds and people venture into new businesses wishing prosperity. We prepare chithrannam (a platter of rice dishes with different flavors) on this day and offer them to the river Goddess by immersing them into the river.
Here I have prepared the traditional chithrannam consisting of sweet Pongal, tamarind rice, coconut rice, mango rice & curd rice. I served them with suitable accompaniments like a stir-fried potato with peas, paruppu vadai, appalam, vadagam & lemon pickle. We also serve a glass of buttermilk, banana, betel nut wrapped with a betel leaf (paan) as a part of our festive meal. You may also check out my other chithrannam platter here: