Panchavarnaswamy Temple, Woraiyur – Worship Practices & Festivals
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaiva 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 5:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: Abishekam (sacred bath), Alankaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Panchavarnaswamy and Amman.
The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred texts) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. Four worship services are offered each day. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and Sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Ammavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and Sathurthi.
Chitra Poornima in April-May, Vaikasi Brahmmotsavam in May-June, Aani Tirumanjanam in June-July, Aadi Poornima in July-August (it is on this day Lord showed five colours to Udanga Rishi), Aavani Moola in August-September, Navarathri in September-October, Aipasi Poornima Annabishekam in October-November, Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January, Thai Poosam in January-February, Mahasivarathri in February-March and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.