Adiperukku is a unique South Indian and specially a Tamil state festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi. The festival coincides with the annual freshes of the rivers and to pay tribute to water’s life-sustaining properties. It is celebrated near River basins, water tanks, lakes and wells etc of Tamilnadu when the water level in the rises significantly heralding the onset of Monsoon Aadiperukku, water ritual through religious practice.
In India the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, Cauvery and Gothavari are considered sacred. Just like the earth gives us food, water is considered as a sacred necessity to meet the needs of individuals. People began to worship water in the form of wells, tanks and rivers. It is common among people to throw fruits, saffron cloths, etc., when the rivers and lakes are in spate purely based on the belief that these rivers are the species of female deities. Similarly every temple has sacred wells and tanks, and water in these resources are considered pure. There are cultural developments of the society that highlight many variations on the theme of primeval water which shows that water culture and civilization represent human interest with sacredness.
Aadiperukku, otherwise called Padinettam Perukku – is peculiar to the all the perennial river basins of Tamilnadu and major lakes/ water source areas and is intended to celebrate the water rising levels due to the onset of monsoon, which is expected to occur invariably on the 18th day of the solar month, Aadi corresponding to the 2nd or 3rd of August every year. Hence “Padinettam perukku” – Padinettu signifies eighteen, and Perukku denotes rising. This festival is observed predominately by women in Tamil Nadu.
The Aadiperukku, as a water-ritual, celebrated by women is said to honour Nature. In this auspicious day, Goddess Parvathi Devi is worshipped by offer of different rice dishes. Offerings of flowers, Akshata and rice offerings are done into sacred rivers like Cauveri. As per Purana, Parvathi devi meditated upon Lord Siva to see the divine vision and Lord Siva appeared as Shanka-Naraya swami. The avatar of Shri Bhooma devi also is believed to have taken place during this month. Different rice items like lemon rice, tamarind rice, coconut rice etc are prepared and offered to Devi.
Courtesy: Subbu’s kitchen