Avani Avittam is an ancient and important ritual performed by the Smarta Brahmin community in the South Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka) except Kerala, and in some parts of Orissa and Maharashtra, on the day of Shravan Poornima. The day is of great significance to Yajur Vedi Brahmins. On the next day, Gayatri Japam is performed. This ritual is called as Avani Avittam in Tamil Nadu, and as Yajur Upakarma in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Upakarma ('upaakarma') or Avani Avittam means beginning or "Arambham", i.e., to begin the study of the Veda (Veda Adhyayanam). For example, Yajur Upakarma means to begin the study of the Yajur Veda. This auspicious day is also the day when Lord Narayana took the avatara as Lord Hayagriva. Lord Hayagriva restored the Vedas to Brahma and also is the God of Knowledge.
Avani is the name of the Tamil month and Avittam is one of the 27 nakshatras or stars. Chingam is the equivalent Malayalam month.
On this day, a Prayachittam is performed, requesting God to pardon all the sins committed by them during the year. Homams are held and Poonal, the sacred thread, is changed on this day.
Avani Avittam Recipes
On Avani Avittam, believers ask God to pardon their sins. This day is filled with delicious varieties of vadai, payasam, and appam. Also on this great day of Aavani Avatam, a favorite South Indian is prepared as well: idli! Enjoy!