Book fairs to cultural festivals to literary events: Tamil Nadu set for busy January

A book fair with nearly 1,000 stalls, a literary festival that brings together some of the best names in Tamil literature, a cultural extravaganza showcasing various folk arts from various parts of the state and the world-famous jallikattu or the bull-taming sport – Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, is all set for a busy January.

As many as ten events – the last of which is expected to be the inauguration of the Keeladi Heritage Museum in Keeladi village near Madurai, will bring alive the traditions of the state. Chief Minister M K Stalin kicked off the month-long celebrations on Friday by throwing open the Chennai Literary Festival and pitched the need for conducting such festivals across the state. 

The government came out with full-page advertisements in newspapers on Friday showcasing the Tamil month of Thai (mid-January to mid-February) as the one that celebrates Tamil pride. While community Pongal will be celebrated in the state on January 15 and 16, Chennai Book Festival which began on January 6 will end on January 22. 

Jallikattu, referred to as eru thazhuvuthal (embracing the bull) in Sangam Literature, will be held in Avaniyapuram, Palamedu, and Alanganallur on January 15, 16, and 17 respectively. The state cultural festival on January 12, Overseas Tamil Day (January 11-12), and International Book Fair (January 16-18) are some of the other events scheduled this month.

Sources said the date for inaugurating the museum in Keeladi hasn’t been decided for now since work on interiors is in full swing. “But we are confident of opening the museum in the month of Thai,” a source said.

Icing on the cake will be the return of Chennai Sangamam, a cultural festival which served as the political launchpad for Kanimozhi Karunanidhi. The cultural festival which will include staging of various folk arts from across the state will be held at 16 locations in Chennai from January 14 to January 17. 

From thapattam to karakattam to kavadiattam to poikal kuthiraiattam to therukoothu to oilattam to thevarattam to bomallatam – folk arts will enthrall the audience at parks and grounds. Besides, this year’s edition of Chennai Sangamam will also include a food festival showcasing different cuisines and dishes of Tamil Nadu. 

“The venues will look like a village to encourage more people to come and watch the performance. As part of the Chennai Sangamam – Namma Ooru Thiruvizha, we also plan to stage plays and organize seminars and kaviarangam (poetry recital). We are also planning a special exhibition of handicrafts at the Egmore museum,” B Chandra Mohan, Principal Secretary, Art, Culture & Archaeology, told DH.


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