Aadi Pooram is celebrated during the month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil calendar that corresponds to the months of July-August in the English calendar which comes on pooram nakshathra. The festival is observed to propitiate the goddess Shakthi Devi who is said to have come into this world on this occasion to bless the people. People therefore worship her in order to secure happiness not only for themselves but also for their loved ones.
Aadi pooram is also known as “Aandal Jayanthi”. Aadi Pooram is the celebration of the birth day of Aandal and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The celebrations of Aadi Pooram are very splendid in almost all the Lord Vishnu temples located in Tamil Nadu. The day also holds immense significance in Goddess Shakthi temples scattered all over the country. Aadi month is also dedicated to Goddess Shakthi as the energy of the goddess is very strong and vibrant during this month. It is believed that Goddess Parvathi herself descends to the earth on this auspicious day to bless her devotees.
According to legends, Periyalwar one among the Alwar saints was living in Srivillipthur. Being childless, he prayed to Lord Vishnu to solve his misery. One day, while he was walking through a temple, he found a girl child in the garden of the temple. He decided to adopt the girl and named her as ‘Kodhai’. The child was brought up according to Vaishnava tradition of worshipping Lord Vishnu. Over a period of time, Kodhai’s devotion towards Lord Ranganathan (Lord Vishnu) grew incredibly. She began to wear the garland even before it was offered to the Lord. One day, when Periyalawar was searching for the garland, he noticed that Kodhai was wearing the garland meant for the Lord. Shocked to the core, he immediately, objected her behavior.
On the same night, when Periyalwar was asleep, Lord Vishnu appeared in his dream and said he wished to wear the garland only after worn by Andal. The Lord also advised him to take her to Ranganathar Temple in the place named Srirangam. Though taken by surprise, Periyalwar’s joy knew no bounds. Andal told her father that she would marry only Lord Ranganathar and no one else. It is believed that when Andal entered the sanctum sanctorum, she merged with Lord Ranganathar (Lord Vishnu).
There is another belief that the day of Aadi Pooram is observed as the festival of ‘Valaikappu’ (bangle ceremony) for goddess Parvathi, the universal mother. According to the legend, in Trichy city of Tamilnadu there was a festival celebrating Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. After the festival, the crowd started to disperse. In the crowd there was a pregnant woman who took rest to soothe her painful body. She was suddenly seized with labor pain. There were no one around for help and as she was screaming for help, she eventually started to faint out of tiredness. Goddess Parvathi who saw her, came to her rescue. She came in disguise of a midwife and helped the woman deliver the child. The woman recognized the midwife to be the Goddess herself and made a vow to celebrate that day every year as valaikappu day (Bangle ceremony) for Goddess Parvathi.
On Aadi Pooram, many Vaishnavaite temples conduct homas and Poojas. Aadi Pooram is celebrated win grand manner at Srivalliputtur, the birth place of Anadal. This festival is also celebrated for 10 days at Srirangam Temple. On the 10th day, the divine marriage of Andal and Lord Ranganathan (Lord Vishnu) is celebrated. It is a belief that girls who are yet to get married or searching for right groom, pray to Andal on the 10th day (i.e. divine marriage day) to get married soon and be blessed with the right match.