Fire Ceremony Havan Karthikai Deepam
Karthikai Deepam is a festival of lights. The festival is observed in most Hindu homes and every temple, and falls in the month of Kārttikai (mid-November to mid-December) as per Tamil calendar. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami. This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear.
The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the incarnation of lord Shiva as his second son after lord Ganesha. Stories tells lord shiva created Muruga from his 3rd eye of six primary faces (Tatpurusam, Aghoram, Sadyojatam, Vamadevam, Eesanam, Adhomukam). Stories tells the six forms made into six child and each of them brought up by the six Karthigai nymphs and later merged into one by his mother Parvati.
While merging he also formed into a six faced (Arumugam and twelve handed god. The Lord muruga is also portrayed with his six plays and worshiped with six names.
As the six nymphs helped in growing the six child, lord shiva blessed immortality to the six nymphs as ever living stars on the sky. Any worship performed to this six stars is equal to worshiping lord muruga himself. They are worshiped by lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day around the souses and streets. Karthikai Deepam is also known as Kartikeya, or Muruga's birthday.
The star cluster Kṛttikā (Sanskrit: कृत्तिका, pronounced [kr̩t̪t̪ikɑː], popularly transliterated "Krittika"), sometimes known as Kārtikā, corresponds to the open star cluster called Pleiades in western astronomy; it is one of the clusters which makes up the constellation Taurus. In Indian astronomy and Jyotiṣa (Hindu astrology) the name literally translates to "the cutters".
In Hindu astrology, Kṛttikā is the third of the 27 nakṣatras. It is ruled by Sun. Under the traditional Hindu principle of naming individuals according to their nakṣatra.
Spiritual Significance of Karthigai Deepam
The functioning of lamp implies a great spiritual notion. The wick in the lamp symbolizes our ego and the oil that is used to light the lamp denotes our innate nature that is responsible for the ego to thrive. The flame, the spiritual knowledge has the capacity to blaze our ego, the wick by emptying our innate tendencies. This is the significance of Karthigai Deepam.
Lights symbolize the victory of the good over the evil. People try to make their homes protected from evil eyes and evil forces. They want to bring in peace and prosperity in the families for life. They pray honestly to God to give them good feelings for other human beings. Lamps can give the power to shed of fear and bring in victory in the lives of people.