Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility that is being celebrated by women in south India for more than 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century.
I like to quote them here:
“Women getting ready to bathe in the river urging their men to dress in festive clothing befitting the day, women carry incense, flowers, offerings & fire, when the flood waters come to Vaigai river.”
In those days it was celebrated with lots of fun & fervor especially in Cauvery, Vaigai & Thamiraparani river basins anticipating prosperity. If you are interested to read those Tamil verses, you can visit here: https://learnsangamtamil.com/
Rivers are treated as sacred waters or Goddesses in Hindu Mythologies and swelling river during monsoon was seen as if Goddess were pregnant, so people used to offer sour & sweet goodies that are liked by pregnant women to the flooded rivers.
It was also mentioned in Sangam literature that even kings used to come to both the river banks and indulged in punalattam (water sports)!
We usually prepare tamarind rice, mango rice, sweet pongal, etc. on this day and have them for lunch after offering to Goddess by immersing into the river.
I have served sweet pongal, tamarind rice, coconut rice, mango rice & curd rice as rice varieties, potato-peas fries, paruppu vadai, appalam, vadagam & lemon pickle as sides and end our meal with buttermilk, banana, paan (betel leaves & gulkand – a sweetened rose petals preserve). You can find these recipes by clicking the captions under their photos or the slideshows below:
Coconut Rice Recipe:
Mango Rice Recipe:
Potato-peas Fries recipe: