Aadi Krithigai is considered a very auspicious day for Lord Muruga. It is an important festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Adi or Aadi. This year, it falls on July 28, Karthikeya or Muruga is the second son of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi. Interesting and inspiring are his birth and feats, which are elaborately described in the ‘Skanda Purana’.Thus,the festival is dedicated to Lord Muruga or Subrahamaniya. Incidentally, the festival is also referred as Aadi Krittika, Kirthigai, Kritika and Krithika. The festival is celebrated with fervor in the Murugan Temples in Tamil Nadu.
Muruga in Tamil means beauty. Extolled as the epitome of beauty, valour and “Jnana” [Supreme Knowledge], Muruga is worshipped in several ways, through various rituals. In all Murugan temples, special poojas and yagams are conducted for Lord Muruga on Aadi Kirthigai day. In all the Aaru Padai Vedu (Six Battle Camps of Muruga) Temples, special poojas are held and devotees walk and come and offer kavadi for Muruga.Adi Krithigai in some regions is celebrated to symbolise the victory of good over evil, when Murugan slew the demon Surapadma. After the annihilation of the demon, Muruga blessed devotees with boons.
According to Hindu scriptures, Lord Muruga was born as six different babies. And he was looked after by the six Krittika stars. Later, Lord Muruga was combined as a single baby with six heads by Goddess Parvati. There are many variations to this legend.The Krithigai star or Nakshatram is considered highly auspicious to worship Muruga. And Aadi Krithigai is more important because Aadi is the first month in the Dakshinayana punyakalam – when the sun god changes his direction from north to south.Devotees carry flower Kavadi on the Aadi Krithigai day. It is celebrated in a grand way with various rituals in Murugan temples across the world.