Aanai Pandige Karthikai also known as Karthika Deepotsava, Aane / Elephant Habba is an important festival of Iyengars (Vishishtha Advaitha sect) of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated as ‘Kiru / Small Deepavali‘. The lamps are kept outside the house from the starting day of Karthika up to this festival, which falls 3 days before the end of the Hindu month Karthika. October – November according to Gregorian calendar.
The festival is to honor the avatar of Gajalakshmi. On this day she was born and the elephants performed tirumanjanam (ceremonial bath) to her.
Kantheyasya Lasathkaala Garalam
Giriraajaraja Thanayaa Jaaya Bhavaani Sathi
Nandi Skanda Ganaadhiraaja Sahithaa Sri Vishwanaatha Prabhu
Kashi Mandira Samsthithokhila Gururdeyaath
The meaning of the Sanskrit shloka dedicated to Lord Shiva is as follows –
O’ Lord Vishwanatha residing in Kashi, you are the one with poison in your throat, river Ganges on your head, you are the husband of Bhavani, you are part of Nandi, Skanda and Ganesha and you are the Guru of everyone and I pray to you to do good to the universe.
The Mondays in the Hindu month of Karthika are known as Karthika Somavaragalu. The festival of lights Diwali / Deepavali falls in this month. October – November in the Gregorian calendar. This year (2012) it falls on 19th Nov, 26th Nov, 3rd Dec, and 10th Dec.
Diwali is celebrated by Jains with devotion, on this day Lord Mahavira the 24th Thirthankara achieved Nirvana on Amavasya of Ashvina masa in 527 B.C. The Lord left the body and achieved Mukti/liberation in Pavapuri, Bihar. Lighting of lamps on this day acknowledges Lord Mahavira’s preaching and knowledge.
Picture1 – Lord Mahavira
Deepavali (“avali” means rows and “deepa” means lamp) or Diwali is a festival of lights much loved by one and all. It is the time for sweets, savories, family get-together, new clothes, crackers and the most important of them all lights. Diwali is spread over 5 days and the first 3 days falls in the Hindu month of Ashwina and the next 2 days falls in Karthika, which is usually November in the Gregorian calendar. This is one of the major festivals in India and it is celebrated all over India and Nepal with a lot enthusiasm. Many legends are associated with this festival.
The reason for celebrating this festival varies from region to region and religion to religion. But one reason remains the same and that is of triumph of “good” over “evil” and the elevating of spiritual darkness. This festival is mentioned in the great epic Ramayana.
This year (2012), Diwali is celebrated in November:
Day1 – 11th (Ashwina Month / Tryodashi Day) – Dhanteras, Neeru thumbuva habba
Day2 – 12th (Ashwina Month / Chathurdashi Day) – Narakachathurdashi, Choti Diwali
Day3 – 13th (Ashwina Month / Amavasya Day) – Lakshmi Pooja, Amavasya
Day4 – 14th (Karthika Month / Padya Day) – Balipadyami, Vikram Samvat(New Year), BaliPratipada
Day5 – 15th (Karthika Month / Bidige - Dwithiya(2nd day of Karthika)) – Bhai Duj/Bhau Bij.