Sankara Narayanan Temple, Sankarankovil – Festivals
Following are the major festivals celebrated in this temple;
· Chithirai Brahmotsavam (10 days) (April)
· Adi Thapasu festival (12 days) (August)
· Aippasi Thirukalyanam festival (10 days) (October)
· Theppam floating festival - Thai last Friday (February)
· September/October Navarathri Festival 10 Days
· October Kanthasasthi Festival 7 Days
· December/January Thiruvempavai Festival 11 Days
· February Theppam Floating Festival (Thai Last Friday)
Festival of Lord Shiva granting darshan to Nayanmars:
The festival of Lord Shiva seated on his bull vehicle Nandhi granting Darshan to 63 Nayanmars takes place during Chithirai (April-May) and Margazhi (December-January) months.
While Annabishekam is performed in Shiva temples in Aipasi-October-November, this takes place here on the first day of Aipasi and also in Chithirai-April-May with a prayer that the year should begin without shortage of food grains in the beginning of the year (Chithirai is the first month of Tamil year) and Aipasi happens to be the beginning of auspicious days.
Aadi Thapasu Festival:
Thapasu means penance. Mother Parvathi took to penance to have the darshan of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu combined as Sankara Narayana. This is the festival called Aadi Thapasu running for 12 days. As this is a festival exclusively for Ambica, She alone comes in the car procession. On the last day, Ambica goes to the Thapasu Mandapa with a bag of sacred ashes – Vibhuti. Lord Sankaranarayana grants darshan to Ambica in the evening and enters the temple on the elephant vaahana together.
It is also noteworthy that Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January is celebrated with equal festivity as in Vishnu temples for which a Sorga Vasal is constructed in the temple. Lord Vishnu grants darshan in a palanquin in reclining form.
As a custom, on the Skanda Sashti festival of destroying demon Soorapadman, Lord Muruga appears with a single face only in the Subramanya form. He graces with six faces that day in this temple. The wedding festival of Deivanai is celebrated the next day.