Karthikai Deepam is a South Indian festival observed by Hindus on the full moon day of Tamil month Karthikai, which falls amid November and December. It is an occasion where rows of oil lamps are lit in every home and temples. Karthigai Deepam is essentially a festival of lamps and lighted lamps are considered as auspicious symbols and believed to drive off evil forces and let in prosperity and joy.
Though generally lighted lamps are important in festivals and rituals of Hindus, Karthigai deepam is indispensable. We hold the festival of lamps yesterday at home and lit some limited oil lamps at the entrance and windowsills. Few of our neighbours had some splendid arrangement of lamps around their compound walls and stairs across our house made feel good to eyes and mind.
The construction office opposite to our side entrance did wonderful by lighting row of lamps on their wooden stair and someone stood there to make sure all lamps kept burning. Our oil lamps couldn’t light long due to wind but to my surprise the lamps lit on the compound wall of our neighbours keep lighted. Only later mom said those are candle lamps. So what? I can’t understand the logic here.
Usually mom used to light the lamps once Thirvannamalai Deepam (a huge fire lamp, which is called Mahadeepam) is lit up on the hill - following live relay on TV . Karthigai festival in Thiruvannamalai is very famous and during this occasion millions of people visit the temple town to watch the Mahadeepam lit up on the hill.