In the month of Panguni, the festival called Panguni Uttiram is important. It occurs when the full moon is on the asterism ‘Uttiram’, (Beta Leonis). In the majority of the temples in South India, the annual temple festival known as Brahmotsava, lasting for ten days, reaches its culmination and consummation on this sacred day. Hence it is of importance in all temples. Siva is said to have married Parvathi on this day.
The marriage of Goddess Minakshi with Chokkanathar at Madurai and the wedding of goddess Kamakshi with Ekambaranathar at Kancheepuram, etc., are said to have taken place only on this auspicious day. The marriage of Rama and Sita also is considered to have taken place on this Panguni Uttiram day. Naminandhi Adigal Nayanar of the 63 saints of Saivism was hailed 1,300 years ago, as one who conducted this festival ably and devoutly at Tiruvaroor, by Saint Appar.
Thirugnanasambandhar also refers to this festival, as celebrated at Thirumayilai, (Mylapore), in seventh century A. D. There is an allusion to this festival, even in a poem of Agananuru, (137), a classic of the Sangam age, which dates back to 2,000 years. Sangam poet Nakkeerar also refers to this festival and informs that it was very popular and famous at Uraiyur, the ancient Chola capital of the Sangam age. All these literary references go to prove the antiquity of this festival. Although Panguni Uttiram festival is very famous in almost all the temples of Siva, Kancheepuram Ekambaranathar temple is noted for it. When the marriage of Lord Ekambaranathar and goddess Kamakshi takes place, many marriages of poor people are celebrated simultaneously and ceremoniously in the immediate presence of the divine couple, Ekambaranathar and Sri Kamakshi devi. This age-old religious and social custom indicates the foresightedness and the far-sightedness of our ancient ancestors, in setting up a highly commendable grand model, for the modern day mass marriages.