The Kandoori festival is celebrated in the month of Rabivassani. The ancient
mosque at Pottalpudur in Tirunelveli district in respect of
sanctity as famous as the mosque at Nagore in Thanjavur district.
The former mosque is dedicated to Mohideen Andavur who is said to
be descendant of the prophet. A close disciple of his, by name Olivilla
Kadhari is believed to have built this mosque in Pottal pudur. The
Kondoori festival lasts for eleven days and is marked by daily prayers
at the mosque. Many of the festival have the features of the ceremonies
performed on the Hindu temples. Holy ash made of turmeric, ghee and sandal
is distributed at this festival to the devotees. Devotees offer their
prayers and make contributions in money and in silver models of
limbs, eyes, etc. to thank God for fulfillment of their vows. Devotees
who have some bodily ailments appeal to the Andavar and take vows
that on restoration to normal health. They would make suitable presents.
Sheep and fowl are sacrificed. Sandal paste prepared in large quantities
is offered to Andavar and then distributed to the eager crowds of the
Hindus and Muslims. At Nagore, there is a shrine for Saint Hazeroth Sayid
Shake Hamid Quadir Wali who is believed to confer his blessings
profusely, on his worshippers, irrespective of their faith. Many miracles
are attributed to the Saint such as saving the crew of leaky ship.
Offerings made at this shrine include flower, sandal
paste, sugar, incense and money. On one of the days of the festival, one
of the descendants of the saint is chosen as a peer or spiritual
leader and honoured with offerings.
The tenth day is very important for anointing Saint's
tomb with sandal-paste. Sandal is placed in a silver vessel, put in a
Chandanakkoodu or decorated chariot. The High priest or Kaleefa
performs the anointing ceremony. Afterwards he becomes unconscious and
is carried home with police escort. On regaining consciousness,
he distributes sandal paste to the waiting public.