Festivals enliven social life and unite people by bringing everybody together in joyful celebrations or significant events shared in remembrance of common past. It is a means when one sinks one’s difference and joins together to celebrate the festivals. As our forefathers came from Tamil Nadu they brought with them this rich cultural heritage, hence these festivals are being celebrated.
The traditional Tamil calendar is one long pageant of a colourful mosaic of festivals. These festivals are an expression of the joyous spirit of celebration. The festival of Aadi paddinettaam Perukku is celebrated with great joy and pomp. It is considered an important and auspicious day for married women. A married woman celebrates this festival with great fervour and dedication, by observing the rites and rituals of the festivals. She also prays for the long and healthy life of her husband.
In Tamil Nadu it is in the month of Aadi on the 18th that they celebrate this festival. They praise and worship the river. This custom has been perpetuated from generation to generation.
Thaali is a marriage badge tied round the neck of the wife and the husband during the wedding ceremony. It seems to be the most precious and important possession in the life of a married couple. The wedding ceremony culminates in the tying of the thaali by the bridegroom around the bride’s neck while they vow fidelity to each other before the priest and their parents that from the very day they have become only one soul.
It also brings to light the great virtue of chastity and love prescribed in the Tirukkural. « Bright is the home when the wife is chaste if not all greatness is but waste.»
The Thaali is one of the most precious and unique gift which a husband offers to his wife. This solemn ceremony is performed on that day before close relatives and friends who are not only mere invitees but witnesses of this solemn ceremony. The Thaali is the symbol of a married woman and she also makes herself known as a married woman in society. The wife who shows her love for her husband should cherish this thaali until the departure of her husband’s soul.
In Mauritius, the Aadi Paddinettaam Perukku is celebrated each year throughout the island particularly by Tamil women. This is performed after due consultation of the Tamil calendar (panjagam) in order that the said ceremony be performed within the appropriate time.
The women dress up in their traditional and best finery decked with flowers and bangles and vermillion on their forehead wearing the best jewellery. They exchange their thaali for a new woven yellow string one or in the golden chain. They drown the old one in the water in a very respectful way. They perfume the new one and invoke God to preserve this priceless gift which their husband offered them on the wedding day. They also pray for a happy, prosperous, peaceful and long conjugal life.
The newly-married couple go to their in-laws to celebrate Aadi. They also drown the garland which they wore on the day of their marriage and which they kept safely.
On the very day the couple dresses once again as bride and bridegroom. They receive gifts from both parents to commemorate the first Aadi Paddinettaam Perukku Vizha. They also share a common meal with the family.
The festival is unique in itself because the wife prays not for herself only but also for the longevity and the well-being of her husband.