Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility & prosperity being celebrated in South India for over 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century about the celebration of this festival. I like to quote a few lines from Paripadal so that we could get a glimpse of how this festival was celebrated in those days. If you are interested to read those Sangam Tamil verses, you can visit here.
“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 Aadiperukku was celebrated with fun & fervor in the river basins especially in the Cauvery, Vaigai & Thamiraparani rivers. It was also mentioned that even kings visited the river banks along with his men, horses & elephants and indulged in punalattam (water sports).
According to the Hindu Mythology rivers have been treated as sacred waters as it brings prosperity to the entire region. In those days swelling rivers during monsoon were viewed 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, Aadi Perukku is celebrated as a festival that brings prosperity. So farmers sow their seeds and people venture into new businesses wishing prosperity. We prepare chithrannam (a variety of rice dishes of various flavors) on this day and offer them to the 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, paan (betel leaves stuffed with gulkand, a sweetened rose petals preserve) as a part of our festive meal. You may also check out my other chithrannam platter here: