Vakrakaali Amman & Chandramouleeswar Temple, Thiruvakkarai – Festivals
The temple follows Saivite tradition. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaivites community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed four times a day. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Chandramouleeswar and Amirthambigai. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple. The temple is open from 6am - 12 pm and 4-8:30 pm.
The Chitrapournami festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (April - May), float festival for Chandramouleeswar during the Tamil month of Vaikasi and Kanum Pongal festival during the Tamil month of Thai are the most prominent festivals celebrated in the temple. There are other common festivals like Shivarathri, Vinayaga Chathurthi, Vijayadasami and Karthigai Deepam celebrated in the temple. There is a wish tree in the compound having Naga, a snake representation. Childless ladies pray for the attaining child by placing or installing the stone symbols praying Vakrakaali.
Everyone knows Thiruvakkarai is most famous for Pournami pooja at mid night of 12. In each and every Pournami day at mid night 12 there is a pooja in vakkarakali Amman temple and they will light the big "Jothi" at top of the temple. It’s a big boon to see the Jyothi.
Amavasai is special for the pooja at noon 12. The same pooja like Pournami will be carried out at noon 12 and also Jyothi is there.
There is a 1008 pot Paal Abishegam for Amman on every English New Year and on Chithirai Pournami festival. This is conducted by the local village peoples and the temple administration.
This Pournami is special of the all and on this day Amman (statue) will come in ratha with most beautiful decorations and lightings. Amman will round the four streets of village after the mid night pooja. This festival is carried out by the village peoples and it’s the tradition of the village. Chithirai is the holy month for Thiruvakkarai and festival will be there throughout the month.
Tamil New Year
Chithirai 1st is holy day and it is special for Lord Chandramouleeswar in Thiruvakkarai. On this day lord Chandramouleeswar will go round the holy pool in a boat (Thepa Urchavam). This festival is one of the oldest culture and coming generation by generation. After this festival orchestra will be there upto midnight.
This one is one of the oldest tradition and longest festival in Thiruvakkarai. This is 7 day festival and will come at end of each and every Chithirai month. This is especially for Mariamman and Draupathi Amman. They will raise some flag in Mariamman temple at starting of festival and on the third day "koozh varthal"(Ragi pulp) function is there.
After koozh varthal 5 day dramatic show (Theru Koothu) will be there about the Draupathi Amman. Goddess will come in ratha with decorations on every night upto five days. At end of the festival 7th day "Theemithi" function is there. Holy trees will be burn and the fire woods will be spread like the mat. Local peoples will walk on the holy fire with Goddess in the mind.
The third day after Pongal is known as Karinaal (Kaanum Pongal) and it’s very famous in Thiruvakkarai. This is the local festival. All the local people in the villages around Thiruvakkarai will come to temple and enjoy the day.
Apart from the above festivities, on every full moon day Sri Varadharaja Perumal is also decorated with sandal wood paste.
On new moon days also Vakrakaliamman and Varadharaja Perumal are decorated with sandal wood paste and special poojas are performed at 12.00 Noon.
Devotees can pay Rs.1000/- Which will be invested, and Archana will be performed to Vakrakaliamman from the interest got from the investment every year on a day of the devotee's choice and archanai Prasadam will be sent to their address
On the Full Moon day, Kaali is adorned with ‘Chandanakappu’ and worshipped here. It is believed that if one visits this temple consecutively for three Full Moon days, their wishes would be fulfilled.
On the right side of Kaali, is the Yogeshwara Lingam, and on her left is Valampuri Vinayaka.
As it is the tradition to establish one Valampuri Vinayaka for every 108 Shivalayas, if one sees one, it is equivalent to seeing 108 Vinayakas in the Shivalayas.