The Tiruvathira festival which falls in the malayala month of Dhanu is most popular among the hindu womenfolks of Kerala and falls on 23rd December for this year.
Thiruvathira(star) in the month of Dhanu (Malayalam calender) is celebrated because it is the birthday of Lord Shiva and it is believed that Parvathy Devi, his consort offers penance and austerities on this day.
Following footsteps of Parvathy Devi, Hindu womenfolk of Kerala observe fasting and celebrate this day by refraining from sleeping and not eating rice based food on this day. They keep themselves awake till the next day morning.
On this day all ladies and young girl decorate and colour their hands. At mid night they have the tradition of Paathira poo choodal
To keep themselves awake till the next day, they have all sorts of entertainment like Thiruvathira kali & other womenfolks games…
Ladies take a dip in the river or pond and bath early in the morning by splashing the water in the river with their fist in a rhythmic manner. Our women visit rivers or nearby ponds, in early hours, in groups along with a lighted lamp and Ashtamangalya.
They stand in the cold water and splash water singing hymns. They clap their hands in such a way that they take water in the arms with their left hand and beat on it with their right hand.
The number of claps depends on the age of their beloved Husbands. Thats for seeking blessings for another year of conjugal bliss and harmony.This is known as Thudichikuli.
The food for the day is also different.. They dont take rice foods. Instead they have Koova kurukiyathu and steamed banana for breakfast.
Tender coconut, milk n fruits also include the unique menu for the day.
Lunch is mostly porridge in wheat or sooji rawa with coconut water and special Tiruvathira puzhukku
Hence we hindu women look forward to this day called Tiruvathira in this Dhanu month for observing penance for the well being of their husband children & married life.
Happy Tiruvathira to all my friends