Agni Nakshatram refers to the period when ‘Surya’ or Sun passes through the ‘Krittika’ star. This star is also popularly known as ‘Agni Nakshatra’. The period of Agni Nakshatram marks the onset of summer season and corresponds to the month of
May-June in the Gregorian calendar. This period is dedicated to Lord Murugan and celebrated as Agni Nakshatram festival. In southern India this is the time of peak summer season and is believed to be inauspicious and is therefore referred as ‘Agni
Nakshtaram Dosha’. During the time of Agni Nakshatram, special events and rituals are held in Lord Murugan Temples in South India as various places like Palani, Swamimalai, Tiruttani, Tiruchendur and Palamuthirsolai to name a few.
During the period of Agni Nakshatram, people in Tamil Nadu and adjoining region observe this as a grand festival dedicated to Lord Murugan. The Agni Nakshatram festival is observed in honour of ‘Kartikeya’ who is Lord Shiva’s son and also known
by the names of ‘Murugan’, ‘Subrahmanya’, ‘Palani’ or ‘Kumaraswamy’.
There is also a custom of taking one round of the hill around ‘Giri Veedi’ in the morning and evening, for spiritual and health benefits. It is believed that the Kadamba Trees (the chosen flora of Lord Murugan) offers healing properties to the
walkers. Some ardent devotes also collect water from the Cauvery River for ‘Abhishekam’ of their deity. The water-bearers are followed by musicians and fold dancers and the whole procession turns out to be very colourful.
The period of Agni Nakshatram is explicitly defined as the journey of Sun through the 3rd and 4th quarters of Bharani Nakshtra, all the four quarters of star Krittika and finally the 1st quarter of Rohini Star. This period is also known as
‘Kartari’ or ‘Katthhir’. People in Southern states of India, particularly believe that the 21 days of the Agni Nakshatram period is inauspicious. It is considered that any journey undertaken during this period will not be fruitful, diseases will
take longer to cure, money given during this time will not be returned and other such unpleasant events. There is a common belief that even during the ancient times, this period was not chosen for performing auspicious events, owing to the intense
heat wave that strikes during the time of Agni Nakshatram.
Agni Nakshatram Ends festival dates between 2014 & 2024