tamil month names

The Tamil calendar system is a unique and fascinating way of dividing time. It blends lunar and solar calendars to produce a system of its own. Every month in the Tamil calendar has a distinct name with individual significance and historical connections.

In this article, we will go on a journey exploring the structure of the Tamil calendar, the origins of Tamil month names, and their cultural and religious significance. Whether you’re a Tamilian living abroad or simply someone curious about the world’s cultures, join us on this adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Tamil month names hold great historical, cultural, and religious significance in the Tamil calendar system.
  • Every month has a unique name with different origins, including agricultural practices, astronomical observations, and historical events.
  • Tamil month names have been preserved for centuries and remain an essential part of Tamil identity and tradition.
  • Understanding Tamil month names can enhance your knowledge of Tamil culture and history.
  • Join us on this journey of exploration into Tamil month names and the unique world of the Tamil calendar.

The Tamil Calendar System

Understanding the basics of the Tamil calendar system is essential before delving into its month names. The Tamil calendar is unique in that it combines both lunar and solar calendars. Each month represents a specific celestial alignment, making it an intricate and fascinating system to understand.

The Tamil calendar system combines the solar calendar, based on the movement of the sun, and the lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon. The solar calendar is used to determine the year and seasons, while the lunar calendar is used for religious and cultural festivals.

According to the Tamil calendar system, a year is divided into twelve months, with each month consisting of 29 to 32 days. This is because the lunar cycle is approximately 29.5 days long. To adjust for the difference between the solar and lunar calendars, an additional month is added to the Tamil calendar system every three years.

The Tamil calendar system plays a significant role in Tamil culture, with each month holding unique customs, traditions, and festivities. Understanding the intricacies of this calendar system is crucial to understanding Tamil culture as a whole.

The Structure of Tamil Month Names

Tamil month names follow a unique structure that reflects the cultural practices and beliefs of the Tamil community. These names are derived from various factors, including historical events, agricultural practices, and astronomical observations. Let us explore in detail the naming conventions and origins of Tamil month names.

Naming conventions

The Tamil calendar follows a 60-year cycle that combines both lunar and solar calendars. Each year, this cycle produces 12 months, each with its own distinct name and significance. The names of these months follow a specific pattern, where the first syllable indicates the order of the month, and the second syllable represents the celestial alignment during that month.

For example, the name of the first month, Chithirai, is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Chaitra’, which represents the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar. The second syllable, ‘rai’, signifies a full moon, indicating the full moon during this month.

Origin of Tamil month names

The origins of Tamil month names can be traced back to ancient times, where they were closely tied to agricultural practices and astronomical observations. Each month represented a specific season and its associated rituals, festivals, and religious observances. Over time, these names evolved to incorporate historical events and cultural practices.

Tamil Month Significance
Thai The month of harvest and festivals
Aadi Considered an auspicious month for weddings and new beginnings
Karthigai The month of lights, celebrated with the Karthigai Deepam festival

The structure and origin of Tamil month names reflect the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and offer valuable insights into the history and traditions of this ancient community.

Chithirai (April-May)

Chithirai is the first month of the Tamil calendar, commencing in mid-April and ending in mid-May. It is a significant month, not only in the Tamil calendar but also in the Hindu solar calendar.

During this month, numerous festivals and celebrations take place, with the most prominent one being the Chithirai Thiruvizha festival. Celebrated in Madurai, the ten-day festival commemorates the wedding of Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva) and Devi Meenakshi (Parvathi). The entire city is adorned with colorful decorations, and a procession takes place with the idols of the deity in chariots.

Apart from the Chithirai Thiruvizha, the other festivals observed in Chithirai include the Tamil New Year, known as Puthandu , the birth of Lord Rama, known as Ramanavami , and the full moon day known as Chithirai Pournami .

Chithirai festival in Madurai

“Chithirai is the month of celebration of aesthetic and spiritual values, and it marks the beginning of the Tamil New Year. The Chithirai Thiruvizha, one of the grandest festivals of South India, is celebrated with pomp and grandeur in Madurai.”

Vaikasi (May-June)

Vaikasi, the second month in the Tamil calendar, falls between May and June. It is a significant month that signifies the beginning of the agricultural season and inclines towards the scorching summer season. The name Vaikasi is derived from the star Visakam that appears in the month.

During this period, Tamilians celebrate the ‘Vaikasi Visakam’ festival, which is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva. Devotees perform special poojas and adorn the streets with vibrant decorations, including ‘kolams’ and ‘rangolis,’ and carry the deity on a grand procession. It is believed that Lord Murugan was born in this month.

Vaikasi is also considered auspicious for beginning new ventures and marriages.

Moreover, Vaikasi is an ideal month to indulge in native cuisines as it marks the time for seasonal harvests. You can enjoy delicacies, including mangoes, jackfruits, cucumbers, and melons, to name a few.

Let us now take a look at the various festivals and auspicious days celebrated in Vaikasi:

Festival / Auspicious Day Date
Vaikasi Visakam May / June
Brahmotsavam May / June
Hanuman Jayanthi May / June
Rajakaali Amman Festival May / June
Sagarmantham May / June
Pradosham May / June

Join us in the upcoming sections as we explore the other significant months in the Tamil calendar.

Aani (June-July)

Aani is the third month of the Tamil calendar and falls between June and July. It is a time of celebration and devotion, with many festivals and traditions taking place during this month.

One of the most significant events during Aani is the Aani Thirumanjanam, a ceremony performed to purify temple idols and prepare them for the upcoming festivals. This ritual involves cleaning the idols, offering them special prayers, and adorning them with new clothes and decorations.

Another important festival during Aani is the Pambu Panchamirtham, which takes place at the Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram. This festival involves an elaborate procession of the temple’s deity, Lord Nataraja, along with a snake made of five metals (Panchaloha). The procession culminates in the offering of a sweet mixture made of five fruits (Panchamirtham) to the deity.

In addition to these festivals, many devotees observe fasting during Aani as a way of showing their devotion and seeking blessings from the divine. Overall, Aani is a month of great significance in Tamil culture, filled with joy, spirituality, and cultural traditions.

Aadi (July-August)

Aadi, the fourth month of the Tamil calendar, holds significant religious importance, particularly in Tamil Nadu. The month is considered auspicious and is dedicated to various deities, including Amman, Mariamman, and Shakti.

During this time, you may come across various traditional rituals and ceremonies carried out by devotees. Some of these include:

  • Aadi Perukku: A festival celebrated on the 18th day of Aadi, dedicated to the rivers in Tamil Nadu.
  • Varalakshmi Vratam: A special pooja performed by married women on the second Friday of Aadi, dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi.
  • Aadi Amavasya: The new moon day that falls in Aadi is considered highly auspicious, and devotees flock to temples to offer their prayers.

One of the significant reasons Aadi is considered so auspicious is that it falls during the monsoon season. Historically, monsoons brought prosperity to Tamil Nadu’s agricultural sector, and Aadi is a time to celebrate this. As a result, the month is also marked by agricultural and farming-related celebrations.

Overall, Aadi is a month of faith, devotion, and celebration in Tamil culture, a time to recognize and give thanks for all the blessings received.

Avani (August-September)

Avani is the Tamil month that marks the transition between the monsoon season and autumn. During this month, the weather cools down, and the humidity levels decrease, making it a pleasant time to visit the state of Tamil Nadu.

Avani is also an important month for farmers since the crops sown during the previous month start to yield results. The fields are filled with lush green paddy, and farmers gear up for the harvest season that falls in the subsequent month.

In Tamil culture, Avani is associated with the festival of Avani Avittam, which is celebrated by the Brahmin community. It is a day when they change their sacred thread (yagnopavitam) after a period of ritual purity.

Another important festival that falls during this month is the Varalakshmi Vratam. On this occasion, married women pray to the Goddess Lakshmi for the prosperity and well-being of their families.

Avani is an exciting month that is packed with new beginnings and celebrations. It is a time when people come together to express their gratitude for the blessings they have received and look forward to the autumn season ahead.

Purattasi (September-October)

Purattasi is considered one of the most auspicious months in the Tamil calendar. The annual Navaratri festival, also known as Durga Puja, is celebrated during this time with great fervor across Tamil Nadu. During Navaratri, devotees offer special prayers and perform austerities to honor the nine forms of the divine feminine energy or Shakti.

One of the most significant observances during Purattasi is the practice of fasting on Saturdays. Known as ‘Shani Pradosham,’ devotees undertake a strict fast to appease the planet Saturn. They visit temples and perform special pujas to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to overcome malefic effects caused due to Saturn’s positioning.

Purattasi is also a month for paying homage to ancestors and seeking their blessings. ‘Mahalaya Amavasya’ is an important day in this regard, and people offer ‘pinda daan’ or oblations to their departed ancestors.

“Purattasi is a month of spiritual renewal and devotion in Tamil Nadu. It’s a time to observe traditions and practices to honor the divine feminine energy, seek blessings from ancestors, and overcome challenges posed by negative cosmic influences.”

Aippasi (October-November)

Aippasi is a month of joy and celebration in the Tamil calendar. It is known for its pleasant weather and many cultural festivities that take place during this time. One of the most significant events is the Diwali Festival, which is the festival of lights. During Diwali, Tamil households light up their homes with oil lamps and lanterns and decorate their houses with colorful flowers and traditional rangolis. It is a season for buying new clothes, visiting friends and family, and indulging in delicious sweets and savory dishes.

Another significant event during Aippasi is Karthigai Deepam, which takes place in the Tamil month of Karthigai. It is a festival of lights that is celebrated in the evening with the lighting of diyas and candles, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

During this month, many people also flock to the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple in Chennai to participate in the annual Arupathu Moovar Festival. It is a ten-day festival that culminates in a grand procession, where devotees carry the idols of 63 Nayanars, great saints of the Shaivite tradition, around the streets surrounding the temple.

“Aippasi is a time of much joy and festivity in Tamil Nadu. The air is filled with the sweet smell of flowers, delicious food, and the sound of music and laughter.”

Aippasi is also the month where many paddy fields are harvested, and the people of Tamil Nadu celebrate it as Kaanum Pongal. It is an occasion where families pack food and sweets and go for a picnic with their loved ones.

The table below summarizes the important cultural events that occur in Aippasi:

Event Date
Diwali Festival November 4, 2021
Karthigai Deepam November 19, 2021
Arupathu Moovar Festival November 11-20, 2021
Kaanum Pongal November 15, 2021


As you can see, Aippasi is an exciting month filled with various cultural events and activities. It is a time to celebrate life, family, and the beauty of the Tamil culture.

Karthigai (November-December)

Karthigai is the eighth month of the Tamil calendar, spanning across November and December. The ancient Tamilians believed that Lord Murugan (also known as Lord Karthikeya) was born on the day of Karthigai star. Therefore, this month holds immense significance for Lord Murugan’s devotees as they celebrate his birth.

Karthigai is also known as the month of lights, as it is associated with enlightenment and illumination. Every household in Tamil Nadu lights traditional oil lamps called Agal, which symbolize the triumph of good over evil and the dispelling of darkness. This practice has been followed for centuries and continues to be an integral part of Tamil culture.

The highlight of this month is undoubtedly the Karthigai Deepam festival, also known as the Festival of Lights. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially in the town of Thiruvannamalai, where it is considered the most important festival of the year. On the day of the festival, a huge fire is lit on the top of the Annamalai Hill, which is visible for miles around. The fire is believed to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva, and devotees light their lamps from this fire as a symbol of unity and devotion.

“Karthigai is a month associated with light and divinity. The Karthigai Deepam festival is a symbol of unity and devotion among Lord Murugan’s followers.”


As we conclude our exploration of Tamil month names, we gain insight into the unique cultural practices and significance that underpin the Tamil calendar. The traditional naming conventions, derived from diverse factors, reveal the rich tapestry of Tamil life and history.

By understanding the Tamil calendar system, a combination of lunar and solar calendars, we can appreciate the astronomical and agricultural observations that inform it.

Furthermore, delving into each of the Tamil month names, in turn, allows us to appreciate the unique festivals, traditions, and ceremonies that make up Tamil culture. From Chithirai to Karthigai, each month offers a glimpse into the vibrant, diverse world of Tamil Nadu.

In conclusion, the Tamil month names not only represent the passage of time but also reflect the multi-dimensional facets of Tamil culture. With this knowledge, we invite you to celebrate and embrace the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.


What is the significance of Tamil month names?

Tamil month names hold cultural and historical significance in the Tamil calendar. They reflect the unique naming conventions and meanings behind each month.

How is the Tamil calendar system structured?

The Tamil calendar system is a combination of lunar and solar calendars. Each month represents a specific celestial alignment.

What factors influence the naming of Tamil months?

Tamil month names are derived from various factors, such as historical events, agricultural practices, and astronomical observations.

What is the significance of Chithirai (April-May) in Tamil culture?

Chithirai, the first month of the Tamil calendar, is associated with important festivals and celebrations in Tamil culture.

What cultural significance does Vaikasi (May-June) hold?

Vaikasi, the second month of the Tamil calendar, is celebrated with unique traditions and holds cultural importance in Tamil society.

What festivities and rituals take place during the month of Aani (June-July)?

Aani, the third month of the Tamil calendar, is a time of festivity and devotion. Many rituals and festivities are observed during this period.

What is the significance of the month of Aadi (July-August) in Tamil Nadu?

Aadi is considered an auspicious month and is renowned for its religious significance. Special rituals and ceremonies are conducted during Aadi.

How is Avani (August-September) significant in Tamil culture?

Avani marks the transition from the monsoon season to autumn and is associated with cultural and agricultural practices.

What is the importance of Purattasi (September-October) in Tamil traditions?

Purattasi is a month of devotion and spirituality. It is characterized by various religious observances and rituals.

What cultural events occur during Aippasi (October-November)?

Aippasi is a month filled with festivals and celebrations in Tamil Nadu. It is a time when various cultural events take place.

What customs and traditions are followed during Karthigai (November-December)?

Karthigai is a month associated with light and divinity. It is particularly known for the famous Karthigai Deepam festival.

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