Aani Uthiram (Siva Pooja)
English meaning of the festival
Aani Uthiram is an auspicious day in the Tamil Month of Aani and is dedicated to Lord Nataraja (Shiva).
How the date is decided annually
The festival is also known as Aani Thirumanjanam and is observed on the Uthiram Nakshatra day in Aani Masam (June – July).
Significance of the festival to Hinduism
It is popularly believed that it was on Aani Uthiram day that Lord Shiva appeared before Sage Thiru Manikavasagar under a Kurundai Tree and offered upadesha (advice). Sage Thiru Manikavasagar is the author of Thiruvachakam.
How to observe/practice
Thirumanjanam means ‘holy bath’. On Aani Thirumanjanam day – when Uthiram Nakshatra falls in Aani month – an Abhishekam is performed in Lord Nataraja temples. The Abhishekam or holy bath of the idol performed during the twilight period (Pradosham) on the day is considered highly auspicious. Special rituals and processions are held on the day at Lord Shiva Temples.