Tamil Nadu celebrates Karthigai Deepam as the traditional festival. It is a very old festival and is also celebrated in the neighboring states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This festival is very important among the Tamils and every Tamil wants to celebrate it wherever they are in this huge world.
The earliest Hindu scripture states that the two great deities of Hindu culture Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma started fighting among them regarding superiority. They both thought each one was stronger than the other. To stop this huge fight, Lord Shiva came in front of them and tried to show his supremacy. He took the shape of a huge fire and challenged the two fighting Gods to find the end of the fire from the top and bottom. Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar and tried to reach the end of the fire beneath the earth. He failed miserably and came back to Lord Shiva saying that he was unable to find the end of the fire from the bottom. Lord Brahma on the other hand, took the shape of a swan and flew to find the beginning of the fire on the topside.
But his search was also in vain and he was unable to find the top of the fire. Thus, Lord Shiva proved his supremacy over the two Gods and managed to stop the fight. Lord Shiva actually proved that he is the main God of the earth and there is no use in fighting among other Gods regarding their supremacy. He then appeared like a hill in the Thiruvannamalai region. In fact, the names Tiruvannamalai’ and `Arunachala’ denote “holy fire hill”. Later on the kings and famous personnel built a temple on the hill in commemoration of Lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated with great marvel in this particular place.
Another legend links Karthigai Deepam to Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga adopted the form of six babies in Saravana poigai, a lake and was looked after by six krittika stars. On this day, Goddess Parvathy united all the six forms of Skantda. Thus, Lord Karthikeya has six faces and is popularly known as Aarumugan in Tamil culture.