Every year in many parts of Tamil Nadu people celebrate the festival of lights – Karthikai Deepam. This is different from Diwali, which is also called Festival of Lights. Here Karthikai indicates the current month (mid November to mid December) in Tamil Calendar. Deepam means lamp, indicating the glow from the wick of an oil lamp. In Karthikai Deepam function, people light oil lamps all around their houses and temple. Then pray to almighty to shine light in their lives just like the oil lamps. Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai temple, Tamil Nadu is very famous, there a huge holy fire is lit on top of a hill as an offering to Lord.
At my house we celebrate in good style Karthikai Deepam every year. When I was a kid, we used to burst crackers during the day, Karthikai Deepam being the only other day apart from Diwali when bursting crackers was allowed. Nowadays, due to environmental concerns and modern lifestyle, I am hearing few crackers being burst by individuals in Chennai during the festival.