Sashti or sixth day of the
full moon and the sixth day of the new moon are favorite days for
Lord Muruga. Several devotees of Muruga observe partial or full fast
on each Sashti day and throughout the Kanda Sashti period.
The Sashti falling in on the waxing moon
period in the month of Aippasi (October-November) is the day on which Muruga is
believed to have killed a super-demon called Sura Padman. This is commemorated
in the six-day festival of Kanda Sashti as a symbol of perpetual destruction of
evil by God. Each of these six days is, by custom, set apart to recite the glory
of Muruga from one of the six scriptures in His praise — Tirumurukarruppadai,
Kandar Kalivenba, Kandar Anubhuti, Kandar Alankârâm, Kanda Sashti Kavacam, and
Kanda Puranam. Giant-sized images of four asuras are moved on uplifted chariots
and these encountered and destroyed by the Lord.
For this festival and for this only, the
utsava deity of Chinnakumârar comes down from the hill temple, kills the asuras
at four direction corners while on a festive procession round the hill and
triumphantly returns to His abode in the hill. This is on the sixth day, i.e.
sashti day. All the other events of the festival take place in the hill temple.
On the seventh day, Muruga marries Valli. This divine marriage is celebrated
both in the hill temple and in the Periyanâyaki Temple.