The Tamil month Aadi falls between July and August and farmers would begin the agricultural work now as it is the right time. Preparing the lands, sowing seeds and raising nurseries begin
in this month. The harvest season in the delta areas is in January
and farmers start the preparation well a head. Tradition has been that on this day newly married women go to the river banks
Aadi Perukku is a unique South Indian festival particularly in Tamil Nadu that falls on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Adi (mid July). Yet another purpose of this festival is to pay our gratitude to water bodies by way of doing pujas to the rivers,etc that give us the potable water and the needed water for other purposes - agriculture, industries, etc. It is a celebration of water bodies - lakes, wells and river basins that sustain our lives, heralding the onset of NE Monsoon October- November. We also pray to god to have good monsoon rains in the coming months that may wet the parched lakes, etc across Tamil Nadu. Before the harvest season in the delta areas in January, we need enough rains to raise various crops to meet people's demand.
At Srirangam in places like Ammamandapam, more than 1000 people performed various rituals. At Kambarasampettai and Geethapuram near Tiruchi, the govt. built check dams and people in large number took a holy dip in the Cauvery. In the temple town of Kumbakonam, womenfolk celebrated the festival in the Mahamaham tank where 'Theerthavari' for Adikumbaeswarar temple was held. People also went the cauvery bank where the civic body made special arrangement. At Thiruvarur town, people happily took a holy dip in the Kamalalayam tank as there was enough water. It is the largest temple tank in India with natural springs undergeround.
An interesting but sad fact is some places like Nagapatinam and Karikal, this festival was marked by ''Oppari'' (lamentation) by womenfolks as the Cauvery river bed was bone dry. The villagers in Palaiyr did the same thing -(moaning over the parched water bodies) observed the festival with a heavy heart and devoid of joy and happiness. For the Mayiladuthurai devotees, the festival was not a happy one as they depend on the water from Pushkaram tank in Cauvery Thula Kattam. In the coastal areas like Karikal, etc people went to the beach and took a dip in the salty water.
In many rivers, there was a little water and as the available water was dirty, the people faced hardship to celebrate this otherwise happy festival. The poor water condition across the state dampened the spirit of the people, but their religious fervour never slackened.
'Aadiperukku' loses its sheen in Delta districts, The New Sunday Express dated 4 August, 2019.