In the month of February-March, the annual 21-day festival of Masi Mahotsavam is held at the Kamakshi Amman temple and is celebrated in two parts – the first part is celebrated for 12 days when the deity is taken in procession on different vehicles and the second part of the festival is celebrated for nine days.
The Mahashivratri Festival is celebrated in February-March at the Kailasanathar Temple in the honour of Lord Shiva. Married women and young girls fast during the festival to appease Lord Shiva. March is also the month when regional festival Panguni Uthiram is celebrated with great fanfare.
Another prominent festival in Kanchipuram is Brahmotsavam, which is a ten-day long festival celebrated in the month of May. The festival is held at the Varadaraja Temple of Kanchipuram to honour Lord Varadaraja and his two consorts, Sridevi and Bhoodevi. Festivities include a ceremonial bath of the idol of the presiding deity, and a grand procession following the ceremonial bath. Garudotsavam is part of the Brahmotsavam Festival, when deities from the neighbouring temples are welcomed at the Varadaraja Temple.
Interestingly on the ninth day of this festival, Temple Car Festival, also known as ‘the Varadaraja Perumal Rath Yatra’ is organised when the idol of the Lord Varadaraja Perumal is carried on a wooden chariots in a pompous procession. The beat of drums and the chanting of the Vishnu Mantra create a different world altogether.
In the month of October, the Silk Tourism Festival is held with fanfare. If you visit Kanchipuram during this time, you will get a glimpse of the rich art and culture of the place. In October-November, the Navaratri Festival is also celebrated when the temple is magnificently decorated and the Goddess is bejewelled with valuable gemstones, ornaments and colourful clothes.
The Float Festival is celebrated during the months of February and November at the Varadaraja Temple. Several other festivals are held in Kanchipuram with pomp and gaiety.