Just like Diwali, Karthigai Deepam is the festival of lights followed in the Tamil Hindu traditions. Houses are cleaned, and lamps are lit in every corner of the house to bring peace and prosperity. The festival is also called Karthikai Deepam interchangeably, depending upon the regions in the state. The festival falls on December 10 this year.
The significance of Karthigai Deepam is deep and spiritual. The wick in the lamp is denoted as the ego and the oil used in the lamp as the innate nature of the person. The flame burns the ego, emptying the innate negative nature of the person. The light symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are used to bring peace and prosperity to the family's life.
Lord Shiva was very depressed after Sati's death and separated himself from the world by going in deep meditation. During this time, six babies, including Lord Muruga, Kartik, and Subrahmaniya, were born as children of Lord Shiva. Stars of Krittika looked after the six babies. Later on, the force of Sati joined the six babies into one being or great force. Lord Muruga joins the six babies, and Krittika star clusters become seven.
God Muruga helped Shiva during his confused state of mind by teaching him the meaning of Om and its prominence. The lamps that are lit in Karthigai Deepam represent the enlightenment of Lord Shiva and his positive protection over the world.
People worship Lord Shiva to attain the power and will to fulfill all the desires of life. The lamp represents a Shiv Ling that reminds the devotees about following the rightful path. On this festival, temples of South India look wondrous with beautifully illuminated lamps in almost every corner of it.