|Adiperukku festival in the river. JattDiSite.com|
This festival has been in existence for centuries and is associated with fertility, sex and reproduction in humans. This water ritual practice is performed on the banks of Rivers and was patronized by the kings and Royal households centuries ago. In the agricultural belts in Tamil Nadu, in the month of Aadi, preparation will be afoot for sowing, rooting, planting of seeds and vegetation. The monsoon season brings in plenty of rain to meet the needs of the people. In Aadi, nurseries are raised in the fields subsequently transferred and after North- East Retreating Monsoon the crop will be ready for harvest during Thai Pongal.
The weather playing truant, the Aadi Perukku festival is celebrated on a low key in Tamil Nadu for some years. This year 2017, the merriment is not there very much there because of inadequate water in the rivers. The Cauvery river and its tributaries are almost bone dry because of Monsoon failure and prevalence of unprecedented drought condition. The Cauvery is the lifeline of lakhs of people, living all along its course. On this day in the past in the 1950s and 1960s, the river used to be in spate during the month of Aadi. In place near Kumbakonam, small rivers like Kudamuruti, Veera Chozhan, Arasalaru, etc., would be full up to the tip of the banks. Now, the water scenario in the delta district of Thanjavur is pathetic and unfortunate. This year, the amount of water available in the Cauvery is very low. The water scarcity is further complicated by the row between the state of Karnataka (Catchment area lies in the Kudagu region) and Tamil Nadu where the delta districts (the riparian region) depend only on the Cauvery water for agricultural and drinking needs.
Locally, on the Aadiperukku day, women folks and newly wedded couples go to the river banks and perform pujas. To meet the people's needs the Tamil Nadu government at many places along the river bed sinks bore-wells to supply water to the devotees. At Srirangam, the ghats at Amma mandapam. Garuda Mandapam,etc., have bathing facilities.
01. Because prayers and pujas are done to propitiate the powerful goddesses and seek their protection from the inauspicious aspects that are often associated with the month, it has been a tradition that no weddings or other similar functions are celebrated during Aadi. Not even opening of new offices and new businesses.
02. Young girls go to the river banks and do puja offering Kaadholai (earrings mad of palm leaf), Karugamani (black beads) and Kaapparisi (a sweet made of rice and jaggery). The general belief is that they will be blessed with good husband.
03. Normally temples dedicated to goddesses are busy during this month.