Popular Festivals of Salem

Tamil Nadu is filled with people from all castes and creed in general. So, festivals of variety can be seen all over Tamil Nadu and mainly at the temples.

Hence, Salem is no exception for such Festivals. To name a few:

Samathuva Pongal

This festival is celebrated a week before Pongal festival. This is just to spread Tamil culture and gather people. Cultural programs, fancy dress competitions for kids, deities are taken in bullock carts as a procession, Music is played, silambam etc are conducted and people have a good time together.


As we all know, Pongal is a Harvest festival and farmers thank God for the harvest on the day of Pongal. It is celebrated for three long days in the month of January. Bhogi, the first day of Pongal is used to clear old items. Pongal is celebrated on the second day and people prepare both sweet and spicy Pongal and serve it to the God. The third day is Maatu Pongal. On this day, cows are decorated, horns are painted and they too are thanked for the harvest.

Mariamman festival

Mariamman Goddess is renowned for her power. This festival is celebrated for a period of two weeks. Deities of the Goddess are erected around the city and they are also carried on flower chariots. On the first day, devotees walk on fire as a mark of thanksgiving. On the second day, people wear fancy attires and complete a parade in the city. This festival is celebrated in the month of July.

Kottai Mariamman Aadi Festival

This festival is celebrated in the month of Aadi (May-Jun) for a period of 15 days. Kambam is planted, Pongal is offered to the Goddess, Maha Abhisekam is done to the deities. Deities are decorated with tons and tons of flower known as Poochaatu and a folk dance called Karagaatam is performed by a group of men and women balancing pots on their head.

Vinayaga Chaturthi festival

Vinayaga Chaturthi festival is celebrated with pomp at the Rajaganapathi temple at Salem in the Tamil calendar month of Avani (Aug- Sept). It is celebrated for 10 long days and on the first day, Lord Ganesh’s deity is covered with golden kavachas. The third day is celebrated as the wedding day and 8th day Ganesha can be seen wearing Muthangi meaning decorated completely using pearl ornaments only. Then on the last day, deities are taken on a procession on the roads of the city.