Purattasi is an important Tamil month usually from September 16 – October 15. This again is a month devoted to worship like Aadi, this time the prime deity being Perumal.
The usual Tamil saying is that “aadi va vangum, thai po pongum” meaning the festival time starts with Aadi and ends with Pongal in the month of Thai.
As per the saying, all the festivals start with Aadi and continue to Krishna Jayanthi and Pillayar Chaturthi in Aavani and move on to Navarathri in Purattasi and Diwali in Ipasi.
The most important festivals in Purattasi are:
1. Saturdays of Purattasi – Like Aadi Fridays are important days for praying to Goddess, Purattasi Saturdays are very important and special prayers are done for Venkatachalapathy with people following many Vrathams and pujas with various offerings like chakara pongal etc.
2. Mahalaya Amavasya – The 15 days preceding the New moon day of Purattasi is considered as Mahalaya Paksham (full moon to new moon) period. During this time, our forefathers are supposed to come close to us on this earth and people generally offer special prayers to them with tharpanam, mahalaya srartham etc. This is followed not only for one’s forefathers but for all the departed kith and kin.
3. Navrathri - Once the rituals for the forefathers are completed, the time for celebration begins with Navrathri (nine nights, literally). The first day of Navrathri is the day after the Mahalaya Amavasya completes and continues for ten days. The first three days pujas are for Goddess Parvathi, the next three days for Goddess Lakshmi and the last three days for Goddess Saraswathi - the third day of puja to Goddess Saraswathi (the ninth of the celebrations) being celebrated as Saraswathi Puja in households and Ayudha Puja in workplace. The tenth day is Vijaya Dasami – meaning the victorious tenth day when the Goddess slew Mahishasuran.
Navrathri is a beautiful opportunity for socialising. In South India Navrathri is celebrated with the traditional Kolu.
On the Saraswathi Puja day educational books and all household tools are kept in puja with prayer for a good and safe use of these in the coming years.
Ayudha Puja is celebrated in all work places whether it is a small mechanic shop or a big factory irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Here again all the work tools are cleaned and decorated and prayed to.
On Vijaya dasami day children are made to read the books kept in puja. Many schools admit new children in classes and many institutions commence new courses as being a victorious day, it is considered as a very auspicious day to start any venture.