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Hotels in Madurai

Hotel Taj Garden Retreat
Best Western Germanus 
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Madurai Festivals

 
Pongal
Pongal is one of the most important ,traditional festival of Tamil Nadu.It is the harvest festival, by way of which, farmers express their gratitude to God for a good harvest. The first day of “Thai”, Tamil month is celebrated as Pongal festival. The festival is celebrated for 3 days. The first day is” Boogi”, celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, the lord of rains for the abundant harvest.

On that day people demolish the unwanted items to fire. The next day comes Pongal, the main festival, in favor of Lord Surya.The third day is Mattu Pongal, celebrated as day for cows, showing their gratitude towards them, for their hard work. Then is Kanum pongal, which is celebrated by women in favor for their brothers.

This is similar to Raksha Bandhan, Bhai Dooj, celebrated in North States of India. On this day people go out for shopping, exchange their pleasure and greetings with one another. It is celebrated as Makar Sankranthi in North India.

Float Festival
Float festival, popularly called as Theppathiruvizha, is celebrated on Full moon day, wherein the Deities Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are taken from the temple to the Mariamman Theppakulam, placed in a float, which is decorated beautifully with flowers and lightings, and taken around the Teppam, presided by traditional music and hymns .There is an interesting story behind this festival.

This colorful festival is celebrated during the birthday of the King Thirumalai Nayak. He has been ruling Madurai during 17th century. The Theppam covers an area of about 16 acres; located 5kms east, of Madurai Meenakshi Temple .

It consists of a mandapam in its center wherein, Deity Vigneshwara is showering his blessings. This deity has been explored during the age of the King Thirumalai Nayak, when the earth has been dug to build Thirumalainayak Mahal.But as deity has been explored; this place has been converted into Theppam.

Chithirai Festival
Chithirai Festival, the well known and the prominent festival of the Ancient City of Madurai is celebrated in the month of Chithrai on a full moon day. One can see Lord Vishnu, popularly known as Azhagar in and around Madurai ride on a golden horse to attend the wedding ceremony of his sister Goddess Meenakshi, Parvati with Lord Sundareswarar, the Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu rides all the way from Azhagar Temple located at about 30 kms in Madurai to attend the wedding but on the way is held back by his devotees and thus misses the occasion.

When the lord starts to cross the Vaigai River and comes to know that the ceremony has got over by the time he arrived, he does not even meet his sister and thus rides back to the temple. One can witness all the ceremonies associated in a traditional Hindu marriage being performed to the couples. There is a procession of the couples even before ten days before the wedding ceremony and the couples are taken for the procession the famous Maasi street’s of the town.

Thousands of people pour into the city to witness the wedding ceremony and Lord Vishnu being taken into the Vaigai River. Devotees make offerings to the Lord and it is fabulous site for them to look the Lord and Goddess as the bride and the groom.

In the early days, this festival was celebrated in the Tamil month of Maasi but in the Nayakar’s period it was shifted and from then it is performed in the month of Chithrai. The main events of the festival are carried on the last three days of the ten day celebration. The last day marks the main event, the wedding of the Lord and the Goddess. Lord Subramanian also arrives from Thirupurakundram, to witness the wedding occasion.

Avani Moolam
This festival comes in the month of September. This festival is held for Lord Shiva to declare his crowning. One can see the priests in the temple performing the play of the 64 miracles of Lord Shiva. It is said that this protected the city from misfortune. The fascinating scene of the festival is that the deity is dressed as an ordinary worker and taken to the Vaigai River.
 

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