Atla Tadde is one of the most famous festivals observed by married women in Andhra Pradesh. It is a festival where the married women seek the blessings from the Goddess Gauri for a long, prosperous and happy married life.
It is observed on the tritiya of the shukla paksha of the month of Aswiyuja according to the traditional Tamil calendar.
As per the Gregorian calendar, this is observed on the month of September October during the waxing phase of moon and on the third night after a full moon night.
This is actually the Tamil equivalent of the much celebrated North Indian festival of Karva Chauth. In 2019 the Atla Tadde will be celebrated on the 16th of October, Wednesday.
Legend of Atla Tadde
It is believed that it was Goddess Gauri herself who had suggested that all young unmarried girls practice this ritual to get good husbands. Long ago a princess kept a fast of Atla Tadde to get a good husband. But unfortunately she was unwell and fainted out of thirst and hunger. Concerned, her brothers showed her a mirror with the reflection of a ball of fire which looked like a full moon.
Years later, there was not a single good groom to be found for the lovely princess. the brothers decided to get her married off to an old man. Dejected the princes ran away to the forest and started crying sitting under a banyan tree. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati emerged when they heard her crying. They explained that since she had not completed her Atla Tadde , this was what had befallen. Hearing this, the Princess went back to her palace and followed all the rituals associated with the Atla Tadde. Very soon she got married to an excellent young prince of her own choice.
Rituals of Atla Tadde
The following are the rituals observed on the day of the Atla Tadde
- This festival is celebrated by all women, married and unmarried women along with young girl children
- The women and the young girls awaken in the early morning before sunrise and rice which have been cooked the night before which is called suddi with curd or perugu and a gongura chutney
- On the eve of this auspicious day of Atla Tadde they apply Gorintaku or mehendi in their hand.
- The married women wear traditional sarees and jewelries and other don other sihns of marriage
- The unmarried girls and the young girls play on the streets singing traditional Atla Tadde songs.
- Women swing on the uyyala or the make shift swings
- At night, women see the full moon in water bodies like a pond or a lake
- After the sighting of the moon, they worship Goddess Gauri by offering ten dosas to her
- Paltalikelu or a special kind of sweet is made from jaggery, milk and rice flour
- Sambar with eleven kind of vegetables and gonghura pachadi are delicacies prepared on this day
- A thoranam and ten dosas are distributed among other married women as well.
- Toranam for hand is prepared with 5 nots toranam for Undralla tadde and 11 nots toranam for atla tadde
- To worship the Goddess Gauri, a Kalisam is prepared on the rice grains. The other necessary elements of this are – mango leaves, turmeric, coins, flowers and Kumkum.
- Women after worshipping Goddess Gauri break off their fasts by having small atlu or miniature dosas.
- Some also have the tradition of preparing atlu and giving it as prasads after dedicating it to god amongst relatives. The ceremony has 11 ladies who had taken vayanam and if there is your mennatta or the aunt from one’s mother’s side, then the ritual will keep continuing. The devotee will need to give 11 atlu with deepam prepared with ghee and rice flour to all the 11 females. The deepam will be lit in front of the Goddess and this will be done holding the saree pallu of the devotee.
- Read Gauri ashtotram