11 April 2015

2015 Panguni Uthiram Festival--Celestial Wedding

Panguni Uthiram is celebrated during Panguni Month (March-April) during Uthiram Nakshatra day. In 2015 the Panguni Uthiram date was April 3.

Panguni Uthiram (Falgun Purnima) full moon day is known as the time of celebration of the Celestial Wedding of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi; Lord Murugan and His consort Goddess Devayani and Lord Vishnu and His consort Goddess Andal. This day also celebrates the divine wedding day of Lord Rama and the Goddess Sita. 

This celebration of Divine marriage is intended to emphasis the glory of married life for householders and to protect their union from separation. It is believed that offering prayers to God at this time gives good mental equilibrium to couples and bestows them with strength, love, affection and understanding. 

Devotees visiting Lord Murugan Temples on Panguni Uthiram day carry Kavadis and many devotees choose to have their heads shaved and to observe austerities at this time. To read the legend of Lord Murugan's devotees and the Kavadi, go to this link here.

Lord Murugan devotees carrying Kavadis

At Arunachaleswarar Temple a Marriage Festival is celebrated.

Exchange of Garlands for the Gods

Alangaram of the Gods

Marriage of  Lord Annamalaiyar and the Goddess

Devotees watching the marriage

In the evening the Gods came in procession and an exchange of garlands took place. 

Arunachaleswarar and Parashakti after exchanging garlands were both moved to the Kalyana Mandapam. Inside the Kalayana Mandapam (Thirukalyanam Mandapam), the Thirukalyanam Festival occurred. 

Gods in procession in the town

After which Lord Arunachaleswarar with Goddess Ambal came out in procession on the mount of the Golden Rishaba (bull). 

After completion of the Celestial Marriage on full moon day, special functions celebrating the Panguni Festival daily occurred connected with  Arunachaleswarar Temple from April 3, 2015 to April 8, 2015. 

Arunachala spur with Murugan Shrine on Top

As mentioned earlier this Panguni Uthiram full moon day Festival is also the celebration of the Celestial Wedding of Lord Murugan and his Goddess Devayani. As well as the carrying of Kavadis, devotees of Lord Murugan also held separate functions for their God at various Lord Murugan Temples and Shrines throughout Tiruvannamalai. 

The hillside shrine on a small spur south of Arunachala held a two day long celebration of the Celestial Wedding. On both the 3rd and 4th of April, the whole top of this spur was decorated and lit up with lights. 

For more information and photographs of the Lord Murugan Shrine on the spur rock go to this link here

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