There are numerous stories related to Masi Magam. One such story is related to Thiruvanamalai Maasi Magam. It is said that King Vallalan of Thiruvannamalai was childless and hence he prayed to Lord Shiva of Thiruvanamalai Temple and soon became his ardent devotee. Lord Shiva who was happy with the king's devotion transformed himself into a baby and played inside the Kingdom. But when King Vallalan tried to carry the baby , it soon disappered. The dissappointed King turned to Lord Siva and soon Lord Shiva appeared before him saying that he himself will be born as a son to the king and even do his last rituals.

As promised, Lord Shiva was born and even did the king's last rituals at Gowdama river. That day happened to be at the Masi month of Tamil and Magam Star (one among the twenty seven stars in the astrological system ), the full moon day. Lord Shiva also blessed the king by saying that whoever bathes in the sea during Masi Magam will get their sins washed away and also get mukthi if their karma allows. This day is considered as highly auspicious in many temples across southern India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.

There is also another story that on this particular day of full moon, the moon aligns with Magha which is the birth Star of the Kings and Ancestors. This occurs only once a year and it signifies the descent of heavenly beings to the earth plane to purify their own karma as well as the karma of the human race whoever bathes in the sea.

Once in twelve years, Maasi Magam attains special significance and it is then known as Maha Maham.

The festival is very special in Kumbakonam city and in Pondicherry it is celebrated in Kuruchikuppam and Vaithikuppam. Temples from around 150kms away come to the little town to participate in the Maasi Magam festival. Idols of deities are immersed in the sea as a symbol of purification and worshippers bath in the holy water to wash away their sins. Offerings are made throughout the day and the seashore of Puducherry becomes a holy place with idols on chariots lining up the shore. In the evenings, the statues then go back to their respective temples on the chariots.