Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility & prosperity celebrated in south India for over 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century about the celebration of this festival. I like to quote a few lines from Paripadal so that we could comprehend how aadiperukku was celebrated in those days (if you are interested to read those Tamil verses, you can visit here: https://learnsangamtamil.com/ ) :
“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 Aadiperukku was celebrated with fun & fervor in the river basins especially in the Cauvery, Vaigai & Thamiraparani rivers. It was also mentioned that even kings visited the river banks along with his men, horses & elephants and indulged in punalattam (water sports).
On the day of Aadi Perukku farmers used to sow the seeds and business people venture into new business anticipating prosperity. According to Hindu Mythology rivers are treated as sacred waters as it brings prosperity to the entire region. In those days swelling rivers during monsoon were viewed as if the Goddess were pregnant, so women (particularly newly married) used to offer sweet & sour goodies, that are generally liked by pregnant women, to the flooded rivers wishing them fertility.
We usually prepare chithrannam (a variety of rice dishes of various flavors) on this day and have them for lunch after offering to Goddess by immersing into the river.
I have prepared the traditional chithrannam consisting of sweet pongal, tamarind rice, coconut rice, mango rice & curd rice, and served with potato-peas fries, paruppu vadai, appalam, vadagam & lemon pickle. As a tradition we serve buttermilk, banana, paan (betel leaves & gulkand – a sweetened rose petals preserve) as a part of our festive meal. You may also check out my other chithrannam platter here:
Coconut Rice :
Mango Rice :
Potato-peas Fries :