The cultural festival of Dance and Music is held in the Margazhi month (mid-December to mid-January) of the Tamil calendar. Young prodigies and legends consider this an ideal platform for showcasing their talent. The festival, usually held in temples, heritage bungalows, and auditoriums, will have both solo and group performances.All forms of classical dances are performed. With over 300 concerts, Chennai will see a conglomeration of diverse cultures during this time. Music and dance are considered forms of worship for the artistes. The music that flows in various languages including Tamil, Telugu and Kannada will attract any art lover to the city. This festival was started in 1927 to honour the anniversary of Madras Music Academy, an institutional landmark in fine arts. This festival is known as December Season Festival among international tourists.
The celebrations go on till the middle of January and musicians also take part in Thyagaraja Aradhana, a one-week celebration in honour of the legendary music composer Thyagaraja. Celebrations usually take place in his birthplace Thiruvaiyaru. In Chennai, Thyagaraja Aradhana is held at Mylapore where musicians sing pancharatna kritis of the musician-saint. Climate wise also, this is an ideal season to visit Chennai – as the temperature level will be on the lower side. Tourists, alongside enjoying artistic performances can also explore various tourist places like beaches, temples, art centres, national parks and more. Along with vocals, one can also experience the rhythm flowing from instruments like mridangam, ghatam, flute, veena, nathaswaram and thavil. The tourism office in Chennai distributes tickets for this festival. Over 2000 artistes across the country come to Chennai to participate in the cultural extravaganza.