August 06, 2017

Aavani Avittam /Yajur Upakarma /Hayagriva Jayanti

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Avani Avittam /Upakarma is the day when the men of the house change their Poonal/ Sacred thread (Janeui)  . It is a very important annual ritual for the South Indian Brahmins . 

The men in the family come together on this day and change their poonal with guidance from the family priest or an elderly person of the family who leads the Pooja by chanting the mantras /verses and the men follow it step by step . In recent times ,there are detailed videos available online making it all the more easy to follow and change the poonal.

This festival is celebrated on a Full Moon Day / Pournami in the holy month of Shravan by most of the Tamil /Kerala Brahmins who follow the Yajur Veda tradtion. Hence also known as Yajur Upakarma.  This day is also celebrated as Hayagreeva Jayanti and in  North India it is celebrated as Raksha Bandhan 

Brahmins who belong to the Rig Veda / Sama Veda tradition have a different day when they perform the Upakarma.

The ladies of the house prepare a grand feast for the family and the lunch is ready by the time the men finish changing their Poonal and the entire family enjoys a delicious festive meal . Since it is also Hayagriva Jayanti some families prepare Hayagreeva Maddi - a sweet for offering. 

The menu in most homes is a typical saatvik south indian festive  lunch where in Onions and Garlic are avoided.

2022 lunch thali for Aavani Avittam we enjoyed
  • Rice + ghee + dal 
  • Araichuvitta Sambar 
  • Tomato Rasam
  • Carrot Kosamri
  • Cabbage Curry 
  • Medhu Vadai
  • Gass Gasse Payasam
  • Curd

The elaborate lunch  and breakfast menu is mentioned below. Click on the item names for a detailed recipe

**pics and blog post updated in Aug 2022



  1. I had forgotten about the feast that followed the janu changing! We loved it and waited for the meal to be served! But I didi not know it was Hayagreeva Jayanti on this day perfect day to make Hayagreeva.

    1. Indeed Archana, so many things we tend to forget over time, but having elders at home is a blessing and I get reminders about these minute details from time to time .

  2. Yes, it is a tradition followed in many households. I too did not know about Hayagreeva Jayanti. Informative post.

  3. Just love the fact that any religious or festive ceremony is followed by such an elaborate and delicious meal. Love the whole thali, wish I could have it right away. Always a pleasure to read about South Indian traditions on your blog.

    1. My pleasure Mayuri Ji. With the traditions fading away slowly ,I see this as a way of preserving for future generations


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