Saturday, August 27, 2011
Karaikal - Festivals
Sani Peyarchi Festival
Karaikal is known all over the country for its unique and the only temple devoted to the Lord Saneeswara (Lord Saturn) at Thirunallar. Those who are troubled by vicisitudes in life and wish bright future do spare their time to pay obiesance to the Lord Saturn. The Sani Peyarchi festival is the "Kumb Mela of Pondicherry" attracting lakhs of devotees.
Although situated within Karaikal municipality, Karaikal Ammayar temple which holds the annual 'Mangani" festival which is a well attended 'Mela', as also Kandoori festival celebrated by Karaikal Darga and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes celebrated by Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
This annual festival takes place on the full moon day of the Tamil month of Masi (Between February and March). Deities from as many temples in and around Karaikal are brought in ceremonial processions to the seashore for a symbolic immersion ceremony. Thousands of people go to the seashore to have a dip in the sea which is said to wash away one's sins. The most important deity, which takes part in the festival, is Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukannapuram village in Tamil Nadu area. The saying goes that Sowriraja Perumal married a fishermen community woman and hence the moment the deity enters Tirumalairayan-pattinam village of Tirumalairayanpattinam
commune for the festival, the fishermen take charge of the deity and charges are replaced after the festival is completed i.e. after the holy bath. This festival is held with all pomp and glory although it cannot be compared to the degree of celebration in Pondicherry.
Three or four times in a year, local temples conclude their annual festivals with hundreds of men, women and children walking on fire for fulfilment of their vows.