Sattainathar Temple, Sirkazhi – Festivals
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamilnadu, the priests belong to the Shaivaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 8:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: Abhishekam (sacred bath), Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for all the three Shiva shrines. Six worship services are offered each day.
The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Amavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi.
Brahmotsavam in the temple begins on the Chithirai Tiruvadhirai day in April-May. The event of Mother Uma feeding Gnanasambandar is celebrated on the second day. The milk fed to the child saint is offered as Prasad. Consuming this milk ensures salvation to the devotee, it is believed. Oil abishek is offered to Lord Uma Maheswarar in the hill temple on the first day of Tamil months Chithirai (April-May); Aadi (July-August); Aipasi (October-November); Thai (January-February) and on Karthikai Deepam in November-December, Margazhi Tiruvadirai in December-January and Shivrathri in February-March. Special pujas are performed on Aadi Pooram in July-August, Navarathri in September-October, Thai new moon day in January-February, Vaikasi Moola Star day in May-June, Aani Rohini Star day in June-July and Sadayam Star day in Aipasi in October-November.
The Thirumulaippal Urchavam is celebrated on the second day of the Brahmotsavam of the temple in the Tamil month of Chittirai. On this day, the Uthsavamoorthy of Thirugnana Sambandar is taken to Thiruthalam Udaiyar temple at Tirukkolakka (Sirkazhi) wherein the Golden Cymbals presented by the Lord and the Amman giving it the sound are symbolically celebrated and Sambandar is brought back here in a flower decorated palanquin (Poo Pallakku).
Special Poojas are performed here on Ashtami days and Abhishekam on Fridays. Punugu is applied at 12.00pm with Vadamalai. Pulse dish is offered as Nivedhana. Special worship services to Bhairavar (Sattanathar) are carried out on Friday nights.