Ancient Pastimes in the culture
The inscriptions found in the walls, boulders and rocks in Tamil Nadu throws valuable light on the pastime activities of the people, how they spent their leisure time. In the communal gatherings people enjoyed and involved themselves in the temple festivals and celebrations connected with it.
The inscriptions speak about the Pastimes and how the people spend their leisure. The main and major occasion was the participation of the people in the annual festivals conducted in the temples. The principal festivals conducted during the month of Tiruvadirai star Tamil month of Thai (January-February), Maha in Masi ( February-March) and Chitirai new years day ( April 14th). During the festival times particularly in the month of Margali Prabandams were recited in the Vishnu temples and Tevaram and Tiruppadiyam hymns were sung before the Lord Shiva.
The hunting festival was conducted in temples when the deities were taken out to a grove or garden, the people of the place also participate and go along with the deity with torch lit in their hands. This groves or garden were considered as sacred and the deities housed in them. The community basis sacred groves were also existed olden days.
There was a car festival where the deities taken in procession. The residents of the village or town also happily participated in the temple festivals and served the public. The Music and Dance were performed during that occasion. The musical instruments was daily played before the god, which entertained the people of the village as well as the devotees who visit the temples. There was a tradition of celebrating victorious princes in song and verses. The story telling was very popular; the two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were narrated by great scholars in the temple mandapas; there was a royal patronage for the same.
Hip-Hop or Hopscotch, Dice, other type of gamesmen, found in the excavations conducted in various places revealed that they had a very good pastime and enjoyed playing games.