Arudra shiva Abhishekam
Arudra is the nakshatra of Shiva and is one of the brightest stars of the constellation.
Arudra Darshan is one of the six days when abhiseka (hydration ceremony) is performed to the Nataraja idol of all Shiva temples.
Milk, curd, honey, sugarcane juice, turmeric, sandal paste, fruits, rice flour, sesame oil, rose water and many more are used in the hydration ceremony.
Devotees prepare a special dish called ‘Thiruvathirai Kali’ on this day and offer it to Shiva.
The festival is observed for two days, the first day is known as Arudra Abhisekam on which hydration ceremony is done.
The second day is Arudra Darisanam, the day when the marriage between Shiva and Parvati is celebrated at the temples.
Once the divine marriage is over. The decorated idols of Shiva and Parvati are taken to the temple courtyards and a dancing celebration ensues.
Seeing the dancing ceremony of Shiva-Parvati is believed to bring prosperity and happiness to the devotees.
It is a common practice amongst devotees to observe fast on the Arudra Darshan day and end the fast after seeing the Shiva-Parvati marriage ceremony.
People visit Shiva temples on this day and listen to stories of Shiva and participate in the Shiva-Parvati marriage ceremony.
Special Fire lab ceremonies are scheduled at the temples and Shiva is invoked.
From the soot of the fire lab ceremony, a sacred paste called. ‘Thiruvathirai Mai’ is prepared and distributed to the devotees.
Applying the Thiruvathirai Mai on your forehead would bestow the grace of Shiva upon you.