Despite the Cauvery and other rivers remaining dry, Aadi Perukku was celebrated along the banks of rivers and temple tanks in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts on Saturday.
Newly wed couples accompanied by senior members of their families arrived at the river beds or to the steps leading to the tank beds around 10.30 a.m. to perform pujas as a prelude to changing the holy thread tied on the neck of the bride on the occasion of their marriage.
After changing the thread, they discarded the old ‘mangal sutra’ on the river bed along with garlands worn at the time of marriage and offerings such as coconut, banana and others made by them during the puja.
Meanwhile, other women performed pujas on the banks and tied threads dipped in turmeric paste on their neck as part of the celebration.
Special arrangements such as temporary shower facility on the river bed near the padithurais (bathing ghats) of the Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru and other places were provided by the local bodies to help the newly weds have a shower before performing the puja.
At the temple tanks, wherever sufficient water was available like in Kamalalayam tank, Tiruvarur, people performed the rituals happily.
In Kumbakonam, a majority of womenfolk celebrated the festival at Mahamaham tank, where ‘Aadi Pooram Theerthavari’ of Adhikumbeswarar temple was also held. A few of them performed the Aadi Perukku pujas on the banks of the Cauvery where special arrangements were made for disposal of puja materials on the river bed.
Although most part of the rituals were oriented towards woman, boys too had their share of joy in the festivity.
They pulled chapparams (miniature chariots) made from discarded timber pallets carrying the images of Hindu gods and goddesses along the streets in their villages as part of the celebrations in Thanjavur region.