At 4:30 am, the chilly ambiance prevails as the temperature hovers around a notable low of approximately 15°C. Despite the brisk chill and the advent of the fog under the timid winter sun, residents across the plains of southern India are undeterred. Embracing the Brahma Muhurtam (the sacred time between 4 am and 6 am), they adorn their homes with intricate Kolam designs, bathe and set forth to local temples.
Here, amidst the serene chants of Thiruppavai, they indulge in the delightful warmth of ghee-soaked Pongal. This cherished routine encapsulates the essence of Margazhi Masam or Dhanur Masam, a month of immense cultural and religious significance observed in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. This sacred period spans from mid-December to mid-January and is replete with myriad rituals, cultural festivities, and spiritual observances.
A tapestry of art and culture