English meaning of the festival
Panguni refers to last month in the Tamil calendar and Uthiram refers to Nakshatra or star that is ruling. It falls on the day the moon transits in the asterism or Nakshatra of Uttara-Phalguni or Uthiram in the twelfth month of the Tamil calendar i.e. Panguni.
How the date is decided annually
It is the Purnima or full moon of the month of Panguni.
Significance of the festival to Hinduism
On Panguni Uthiram, where Lord Subramaniam has a temple, his devotees carry in a Kavady the requisites for prayer for him, in fulfilment of vows. Such vow fulfilment by devotees carrying Kavady is a special feature of Subramaniam temples wherever they happen to be. Devotees also celebrate the marriage of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati on this day. The marriage between Devaseenaa and Lord Muruga is commemorated on this very day.
How to observe/practice
Devotees conduct the rituals of the Divine marriage of the Gods and Goddesses with full enthusiasm. Devotees must meditate early that day about the amiable Lord Shiva in the wedding posture with Goddess Parvati. The devotees must then bathe and wear clean clothes, before worshipping their deity. After observing a strict fast all day, the devotees can eat Prasad in the form of sweet Payasam (a dish prepared from milk) and fruits together with other devotees of Lord Shiva. The devotees can eat only one meal on that day. Devotees also carry Kavady on this day.
Updated: 25 January 2023