Palani Murugan

Vaikaci Vicākam festival

Vaikaci Vicākam car festival, Palani

Vaikasi Visagam, or Vaigasi Visakam, is the day when Lord Muruga or Karttikeya incarnated on earth. Muruga, the general of the army of devas, is also known as Skanda, Kanda, Subrahmanya and Karttikeya. The birthday of Lord Muruga falls on the Vishakam star in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May – June). The day is celebrated in temples dedicated to Muruga in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

According to Puranas, the devas (gods) were driven out of heaven by demon Surapadman with the help of boons he received from Brahma. Unable to defeat Surapadman, Indra, the king of devas, sought the help of Brahma. But Brahma could only narrate his helplessness as Surapadman had already obtained boons from Brahma through severe penance.

But Brahma did suggest a way out and that was to seek the help of Lord Shiva. When Indra narrated the cruel deeds of Surapadman, an enraged Shiva opened his third eye and the fiery sparks that came out which transformed into six babies. Later Goddess Parvati joined the six babies into one and thus Lord Muruga incarnated with the purpose of vanquishing the demons.

On the day, devotees take out procession carrying milk pots to Subrahmanya temples. The milk is used for the ‘abhishekam' of the deity. Some devotees also take kavadi on the day. Thousands of devotees visit Lord Muruga shrine on Vaikasi Visakam, especially at Lord Subramanya Swami Temple at Tiruchendur and Muruga Temple at Tirupparankundram.