Chennai festivals provide sumptuous opportunities to have
glimpses of the local culture. The city is inhabited by a population
with diverse social and cultural backgrounds. The region is
dominated by Hindu majority and as such popular festivals celebrated
here have direct association with the popular faith.
Like the rest of India popular festivals comprise of those
celebrated by the believers of Hindu faith. Deepavali, Dusshera,
Durga Puja, Navratri, are festivals celebrated with
equal zeal throught the city and the country at large. Besides these
there are some locally celebrated ones and it is these we would be
To begin with we have the festival of Arubathimoovar festival.
The festival is celebrated to pay homage to the 63 saints of Shiva
(Siva) who spent their lives in devotion and penance. The festival
is marked by a vibrant procession carried through Mylapore township.
Chitirai festival is celebrated to pay homage to the
marriage event between Pandiyan Princess Meenakshi and Lord
Sundareswarar. The celebration sees a re enactment of the marriage
to immortalize the event.
The much popular Dance festival is hosted at Mammalapuram.
The celebrations include traditional dance performances like
Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Odisi. The festival has been preserving
the folk dances since time immemorial.
Kanthri festival is dedicated to saint Quadirwali. During
this ten day festival devotees pay visits to the tomb of the saint.
Offerings are made to the spiritual leader who is one selected
follower of the saint. On the last day of the festival the tomb is
anointed with sandalwood and the paste is later on distributed. The
paste is believed to possess great healing powers.
Kavadi festival dedicated to one of the most popular deities
Lord Muruga is celebrated throughout the city. The festival is
marked by a procession carrying decorated stage up to the Palani
Hills. The air is filled with beating of the drum and followers in
trance follow in the procession.
Tayagaraja festival is celebrated in the memory of South
Indian saint and composer who lived during the 18th century. The
festival is marked by musical performances by the upcoming artists
from the region.
Vellankani festival is also one of the most celebrated one
in the city. The festival follows a wonderful legend wherein
Portuguese sailors were saved from a terrible storm by a divine
light. The festival is celebrated at the place where the shrine was
erected by the sailors, that is the spot where their ship landed.