Arudhra Darshan is a very important festival dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja. It falls in the tamil month of Margazhi which begins in mid December and goes upto mid January. It is on the full moon night of the Arudhra (Orion) constellation that Lord Nataraja is believed to perform his cosmic dance and thus He upholds the five-fold activities of the universe. Arudhra signifies the red flame and Shiva performs his dance in this red-flamed light.
The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. The Arudhra Darshan festival celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva-Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer.
This year Arudhra Darshanam in Tiruvannamalai takes place on the full moon night falling on 22nd December. Millions of people will walk around the holy hill of Arunachala. In the big temple of Lord Arunachaleeswara, Arudhra is celebrated as a Nataraja Utsavam and there will be many special pujas and rituals involving sacrificial fires and grand abhishekams to the deities of Lord Nataraja and his consort Goddess Shivakami.
For Ramana devotees it will also be a special day because it marks the preceding night of Sri Ramanas birth anniversary which one may remember, happens on the next day.