I actually didn’t have much intention of writing this post eventhough today is Karthika(i) Deepam. What finally forced me to write this post is people searching for details on “Kaarthika Deepam”* and landing up in my blog . Why ? Because my name happens to be “Karthik”. So Google conveniently directs them to my page. (Not that I am complaining) Not so clever, Google!! Definitely room for improvement there.
So whats all the fuss about “Karthika(i) Deepam” ? Firstly, people burst all the left-over crackers from Diwali. 🙂 You are actually supposed to light lamps and hence “Phuljadis” (Sparklers) and “Chakras” , Flower-pots (another cracker**) are acceptable. But bombs are an over kill and annoying at this time of the year. (People who bought surplus of crackers, do tend to retain them for new year too!! I won’t be surprised if someone actually burst crackers for Christmas as well!! We are Indians you know)
When and Why is Karthikai celebrated ?
It is celebrated on the full moon day of Karthikai month. (Karthikai is a month in the Tamil calender.) Generally oil lamps (Agal vilakku) are lit, as this is the custom. But don’t be surprised if someone uses candles or even Electric Lighting!! (We lot are confused when it comes to choosing between customs/culture and advancements. Hence the “Khichdi” – a bit of this a bit of that).
Although I have no idea why it is celebrated or its historical origins , I am told that on this day the women pray for their male siblings. (In return for cash like in Rakhi ofcourse 😉 . No I said that jokingly. I know some people do genuinely pray and stuff.) Lamps are lit in temples and at home. The day after Kaarthikai is called Kuppai Karthikai (I have no idea why!!) and the day before it is caled Bharani Deepam. Some people even light lamps throughout the month of Karthikai.
The temple in Thiruannamalai is famous for Karthikai time lamps I hear.
*-Karthika Deepam and Kathikai Deepam are both acceptable spellings I guess. Karthigai Deepam is also another possible spelling I guess. (Actually some people might also say Deebam or something like that!! Heard of Ragul ? 😀 )
**-Cracker as in an explosive and not what you eat!! Fireworks would be more apt.