Maasanam margasheershoham – “Among the 12 months, I am Margazhi”, declared Lord Krishna in the Gita. Krishna’s words sum up what Marghazi means to devout Hindus, a month deeply infused with the spirit of divinity.
Margazhi slides in with the winter solstice, between mid-December and mid-January, a season of mild sunshine and deepening shadows. As the year fades out, it is time to dedicate one’s mind and heart entirely to the Supreme Lord – and hence the complete absence of other festivals.
Margazhi is inextricably linked to the legend of Sri Andal, the lovely maiden who so adored Lord Krishna that she would adorn herself with flower garlands meant for the deity. Thiruppavai, her brilliant, moving composition in praise of the Lord, became part of a daily morning ritual observed by young, single girls who would bathe in the Cauvery River during this time, sing and dance in worship and observe other penances, in the belief that this would lead to a happy, married life.
History further cemented the already deep bond between music and Margazhi. When India’s erstwhile British rulers introduced Christmas/New Year celebrations into the subcontinent, stalwarts of the nascent freedom movement hit upon the notion of a classical music festival, thumbing their nose at the colonial establishment, as it were. And that, some say, is the origin of the famous Madras Music Season!
Over time, the Music Season has grown beyond its original scope into a glittering jewel in Chennai’s cultural calendar that draws bhaktas, music lovers and the cream of society. With tiny sabhas and imposing concert halls packed to the rafters, the Season is an eclectic feast for the senses, one that captures the essence of local culture. Even as the ear delights to mellifluous songs and music dedicated to the Lord, the eye is captivated by women in every gathering, clad in the gorgeous, explosive hues of Kanjivaram silks. Not to be outdone, men’s traditional wear –creamy or white silk dothis with a touch of gold – provides a welcome touch of sobriety to this smorgasbord of colors.
Sarangi welcomes the sacred month of Margazhi with a superb collection of Kanjivaram silks. This year, drape yourself in one of our fabulous creations – just one way to celebrate the beauty of this season!
We are also delighted to announce Sarangi’s involvement with a unique photo contest that is to cover the various elements of the Margazhi music and dance festival. More information about this contest, Moods of Margazhi is available here.