Rise and Shine!

It’s going to be a long month… With the full moon, December 16th marked the beginning of the Tamil month Mārkazhi (*1) – one of the most inauspicious in the Tamil calendar (*2).

There are different ways of dealing with a problem month like this, and the most common is to head to the temple extra early in the morning when the earth is closer to the heavens (as I understand it). In the case of my next door neighbour temple, that means kicking off the ghetto blasters at 6 am – just as well I’m such a morning person… Turns out that even 4 am starts aren’t all that uncommon.

On the flip side, households this month usually make an extra effort to have particularly decorative kolams – the doorstep floor paintings common across South India.

I snapped a few on my way to and from class today…

Someone was particularly busy at the roadside mini-temple around the corner – this one is about two metres across.


*1 – the ‘z’ in Mārkazhi doesn’t actually sound like a zee – but then the ழ character doesn’t sound like anything in any European language, so it’s probably as close as any Roman letter.

*2 – Yes, Tamils use a slightly different calendar from the rest of the Hindu world – Wikipedia has the details, but they have the same months occurring at different times.

Wikipedia article on Kolams
Wikipedia on the Tamil calendar
The Notorious Z

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