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Fairs and Festivals

Maha Siva Ratri

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Maha Siva Ratri' means the great night of Siva. It is celebrated in the month of March. On this day, people fast. Some abstain from any kind of food, while others content themselves with one meal. Strict vigil is kept in the night. The people cluster round the Siva temple, and after bath they smear their bodies with holy ashes, and keep on reciting prayers to Siva. Enthusiasts, more devout than the rest perform rolling circumambulations round the temple, while the ordinary worshippers go round it on foot a number of times. Puja to the image of Siva is kept up all the night. Early next morning, people bathe once more, worship Siva and return to their ordinary avocations.

 The celebration of this festival at Siva temple at Alwaye on the banks of the Periyar river is attended with great éclat. The Lingam of Siva rises out of the sand on the sand at the bank of the river. There is only a temporary shed to serve as a temple, as the whole place will be flooded during the rainy season. All classes, castes and creeds come for this festival. A fair is heed on a very large scale. There are shows, dances, dramas, for the pilgrims, to keep them awake. There are a number of small sheds spread about the sand banks where the devout Siva worshipper sets up his own Siva lingam for worship.

On Sivaratri, all the devotees throng in great numbers to the temples of Siva or Mahadeva. They remain there the whole night, sing all sorts of incident songs in honour of the Lingam. Lingam represents the creative power of luminary.

Click here to know more about Sivaratri


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