Aadi Pooram is the festival ascribed to Devi in the manifestations of Sri Shakthi and Sri Andal. It occurs in the Aadi month of Tamil Calendar on the Pooram Star-day.
For the Year 2022, Aadi Pooram occurs on Monday, 1st August 2022. The exact duration of the Star has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar.
Aadi Pooram is celebrated as the day of baby shower day (Valaikaapu) for Sri Parvathi Devi. It is believed that the Goddess Herself descends on earth on this day to bless Her devotees.
Special archana and Aarthi are done to Sri Amba on this day at the temples. Glass bangles are then offered as prasadam to the women devotees visiting the temple.
The Slokams on Sri Parvathi Devi are sincerely recited on this day. Some of them are listed below:
Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam
Sri Raja Rajeswari Ashtakam
Sri Abhirami Stotram
Sri Amba Pancharathnam
Sri Anna Purna Ashtakam
Sri Lalitha Panchakam
Sri Gowri Dashakam
Sri Renuka Sapthakam
Sri Meenakshi Pancha Rathnam
Sri Mangala Gowri Stotram
Sri Bhavani Ashtakam
Sri Narayani Sthuthi
Sri Andal was the incarnation of Bhooma Devi, the second consort of Sri Maha Vishnu. She was believed to be incarnated on Aadi Pooram day. Hence this day is the birthday of Sri Andal.
She was found as the child at a Tulsi garden at Sri Villiputhur by Sri Periyazhwar. He named Her as Kothai.
Even as a child, She was an ardent devotee of Sri Maha Vishnu. She had all her attention, love and respect on Sri Vishnu. She strongly believed that She and Sri Vishnu were inseparable.
She used to string the flowers into a garland for Sri Vishnu. However, before handing over the garland to the father, She would wear the garland, stand before a mirror and appreciate the beauty. Then she would give the garland to Her father to take to the temple. Her father was not aware of Her pre-wearing the garland.
One day, he saw what Andal was doing. He was pained to see it. He knew that his daughter was well versed in the devotional practices. Despite that, She had pre-worn the garland which was against the practice.
Sri Vishnu’s advice
After reprimanding his daughter, he took the fresh garland to the temple. But Sri Vishnu did not accept the garland. At that night, He appeared in the dream of Periyalwar and told that He could accept only the garlands worn by Andal.
When Sri Andal attained marriageable age, Her father arranged for Her marriage. But She refused to marry any human and told Her father that she would marry only Sri Ranganatha of Sri Rangam. The father was very much worried.
Again, Sri Vishnu appeared in his dream and asked him to bring Andal to Sri Rangam and that He would marry Her. Sri Andal married Sri Ranganatha (Ranga Mannar) on Panguni Uthiram day.
The festival is celebrated for ten days in Sri Parvathi Shrines across all the temples. The Sanctum of Sri Parvathi Devi in all Her manifestations, be it Sri Amba or Sri Durga is decorated with the garlands made by stringing the glass bangles.
Across all Sri Vishnu temples, Aadi Pooram is celebrated grandly. Goddess Andal is decorated with silk saree and jewelry. Special Puja / archana are done to Sri Andal. At Vishnu temples also, glass bangles are given as prasadam to the women devotees.
It is believed that the women receiving such glass bangles as prasadam shall be blessed with progeny. It is considered as a blessing to give the bangles to the pregnant women. For those women who already have children, the bangles are believed to ward off the evil and negativity.
At some Sri Vishnu temples, Thirukalyana Urchavam is also done. Thiruppavai is also recited on this day.
At homes, it is considered auspicious to offer the sweet dish named Kalkandu Saadham (sweet rice made with crystalized sugar) to Goddesses.
Aadi Pooram is elaborately celebrated at all Sri Shiva and Sri Vishnu temples.