Kaartika Deepam & Tripura destruction
Last Purnima was Kaartika Purnima.
Kaartika Purnima marks the event of
Shiva's destruction of Tripura. [+]
Tripura was a set of three different cities inhabited
by Asuras. These three cities was built by Maya [*],
the architect of the Asuras.
Tripura was some kind of flying city.
After it got built,
Asuras from all over flocked to Tripura to live.
At first, the Asuras were following Dharma.
However, a few years later, they became corrupt
and were acting against Dharma.
There followed a war between Devas and Asuras.
The Asuras were losing heavily.
However, Tripura could not be destroyed easily.
Tripura could only be destroyed when the three
parts came together during Pushya Nakshatra,
This was said to happen only for a short period.
During this particular war was once such time.
Lord Shiva burnt Tripura when the three parts
came together. [#]
In the Tamil tradition, there is a practice to
have a bonfire on the Kaartika Purnima night.
This must be to commemorate Shiva's burning
[+] According to Vrata Chudamani
[*] Different from Maayaa (illusion)
[#] Matsya Purana Adhyaya 140