Masi Karthigai is a significant festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Masi (February-March) on the day of the full moon or Karthigai Nakshatra. This festival is celebrated by Hindus, particularly in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the neighboring regions of Kerala and Karnataka.
The festival is primarily associated with the worship of Lord Murugan, also known as Kartikeya, who is considered to be the God of War and Victory in Hindu mythology. It is believed that on this day, Lord Murugan appeared in the form of six flames, which were nursed by six celestial nymphs and later united into one by Goddess Parvati, his mother. This incident is commemorated by lighting lamps or diyas in every household, which is considered to bring prosperity and happiness.
During the festival, devotees perform puja, offer prayers and special offerings to Lord Murugan. They also prepare a sweet dish called 'Pori Urundai' made of puffed rice and jaggery, which is offered as prasad to the deity and then distributed among the devotees. The festival is also celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor in temples dedicated to Lord Murugan, such as the famous Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple in Palani.
Overall, Masi Karthigai is a significant festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and is considered to be an auspicious day for spiritual progress and seeking the blessings of Lord Murugan.