Karthigai month starts from November 17, 2017, and ends on December 15.
It is significant for the worship of Lords Shiva, Vishnu, and Muruga.
Karthigai month is significant for Ayyappa devotees. They take the 41 days vow during the start of this month and visit Sabarimala to take a darshan of Lord Ayyappa after that.
Soma Vara Pooja on Mondays is an important ritual observed during Karthigai Mondays. It is in the worship of Lord Shiva.
Taking Girivalam around Arunachala temple in Tiruvannamalai on any of the days in Karthigai is considered very auspicious.
Worshipping amla (nellikai) tree in the month of Karthigai is auspicious. It is mentioned in Puranas that gods and sages reside on gooseberry (amla) tree during Karthigai month.
Though we celebrate Thiru Karthigai Deepam on the day when Karthigai star falls, lighting an oil lamp at the sunset in front of the house every day is a custom followed by Hindu families.
Kartigai deepam sloka to be chanted while lighting and arranging the lamp.
कीटा: पतङ्गा: मशका: च वृक्षाः
जले स्थले ये निवसन्ति जीवाः|
दृष्ट्वा प्रदीपं न च जन्म भाजा:
सुखिनः भवन्तु श्वपचाः हि विप्रा:||
keeTAh patangAh mashakAh cha vrukshAh
jale sthale ye nivasanti jIvAh
drushTvA pradeepam na cha janma bhAjAh
sukhinah bhavantu svapachAh hi viprAh v
We light lamps during the festival of Karthigai deepam. Our scriptures have enjoined upon us to recite a shloka when we do so. This shloka is a prayer to the Almighty to grant the boon of eternal bliss on all those beings that see this light. The being may be a worm or a bird or an ordinary mosquito or any living being in this universe, or even a tree which we do not generally consider to be having a life of its own or a human being of any caste or creed.
Though the shloka refers to those beings who see this light it seems to be more appropriate to interpret it in the following way: the being may be unable to see the light as in the case of a tree or does not see the light even if it has the capability; but let all those living beings on whom the brightness of this light falls be freed from the shackles of sin, the cycle of birth and death and be bestowed with eternal blessing.
– Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal
17/11/2017- Masa Pirappu-The Karthigai month starts. It is the day many Ayyapa devotees start their fasting under the guidance of a leader (Guru Swamy).
17/11/2017 - Mudavan Muzhukku- Taking a bath in the river Cauvery on the first day of Karthigai month is named as Mudavan Muzhukku.
The name Mudavan Muzhukku came out of the story of a lame man who reached Cauvery a day after Aippasi month. Appreciating his devotion, God granted him the benefit of Tula snanam though he was late. So, those who take a dip in Cauvery on the first day of Karthigai will gain the same benefit of Tula snanam, that is, Moksha.
18/11/2017- Karthigai Amavasya-Gangavatharana Mahotsavam or Ganga Snaanotsavam-
This day is related to an anecdote in the life of Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval (Sri Ayyaval), a famous personality in the Bhajan Sampradhaya.
Sri Ayyaval brought the holy river Ganges to the well in his house to appease the brahmins who condemned him for feeding a hungry beggar with the food prepared for the shraddha ritual at his home. The brahmins who were invited to take the food for shraddha, though prepared again, refused it. They asked Ayyaval to take bath in the Ganges to get rid of his sin when they were invited for the shraddha ritual in the next year. Being old and weak, he could not go all the way to North India and so brought the Ganges to his place in turn. Even today, taking a dip in the holy water in his well is considered as very auspicious and this incident took place on Karthigai Amavasya. So, people deem it very auspicious to visit Sri Ayyaval’s place and take a dip in the well water on this day.
1/12/2017 - Maha Bharani Deepam-the day on which Bharani nakshatra falls during Karthigai month is considered very sacred and it is called Maha Bharani. People light lamps in the evening to celebrate Maha Bharani and it is called Maha Bharani Deepam. Burning sokkapaanai is a famous activity on this day. The next day is Thiru Karthigai Dēepam.
2/12/2017 - Thiru Karthigai Deepam- Thiru Karthigai Deepam is celebrated on the day the star Karthigai falls.
It is a day in worship of Lords Shiva and Muruga. Taking a darshan of Annamalai Deepam-the deepam lighted in the temple of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai is considered very sacred on this day. People brighten their homes with rows of lamps and thus symbolically drive away ignorance and darkness from their hearts. Since the constellation of Karthigai is associated with the Karthigai nymphs who brought up Lord Muruga, He is also worshipped on Thiru Karthigai.
Thus, the month Karthigai is significant with festivals and important rituals. Let us observe them and gain lots of spiritual benefits in our life.