Kartikai Deepam is the lighting of lamps on the Krittika or Kartika Nakshataram day in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Karthigai month. There are several reasons or stories behind observing Karthigai Deepam. A popular belief is that the day is the birthday of Lord Muruga. The lamps are also lit for a happy married life and for the well being of children in the family.
Another legend associated with Karthigai Deepam is that King Bali surrendered before Lord Vishnu. King Bali attained moksha by surrendering all his wealth and himself before Lord Vishnu. Special offerings made from puffed rice and beaten rice is believed to be due to this legend.
Another popular legend associated with that of Karthigai Deepam is that of Lord Shiva appearing in the form of Lingodhbhava – a pillar of fire with no end and beginning. This is celebrated at the famous Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswar Temple as the Thiruvannamalai Deepam.
May this Karthikai Deepam usher in all prosperity and peace to all.