Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Invoking divine blessings

    Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Brahmin kid travels on the chariot

The Chief Priest of the Mayurapathy Sri Paththirakaali Amman temple Uthayaragava Kurukkal accompanying the Goddess

The annual “Aadi Poora Mahotasavam” of the Mayurapathy Sri Paththirakaali Amman temple was celebrated with a beautiful procession, that passed through Wellawatte and Bambalapitty, with five wooden chariots bearing beaitfully-decorated statures of various deities.

Chariots parading at a slow speed

Parai drummers from Jaffna added an extra flavour to this year’s chariot festival, while the five grand chariots were tirelessly pulled by rows of men, women and children.

Parai drummers from Jaffna endlessly beat to add colour to the enchanting festival

Women devotees making sure that everybody touches the rope, and pulls it together

Decorated cocnuts to be smashed by the devotees during the festival

A large number of devotees dressed in elegant traditional clothing, thronged the Mayurapathy Sri Paththirakaali Amman temple at dawn, to offer their prayers before taking part in various rituals to fulfill their vows.

 “I lived in the war zone, I have suffered, lost family members and belongings during the war. I made a vow to the Goddess, if I survive the brutal war, and would still be alive, I will hang on hooks and fulfill my vow”, said and emotional Ilayathamby Santhujan, a devotee who came from Kilinochchi. 

 Male devotees hung on hooks, while others rolled themselves on the ground, women devotees carried clay pots of burning camphor on their hands, while some children performed the traditional “Kaavadi” dance.

Pinned through skin of a Hindu devotee as he hangs on hooks

Devotee pricked with metal divine items

Men roll themselves on road to fulfill their vows

Some devotees while fulfilling their vows, appeared to be in a trance. Houses and business premises along the route were decorated according to Hindu tradition, while devotees joined in the ritual of smashing coconuts.

Devotional songs were played throughout the spectacular festival.

Camphor carriers at the charming festival

One of the ways to fulfill his vows 

  COURTESY: Ceylon Today


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