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Archive for May, 2013

The Tamilnadu has many temples apart from the famous ones. Lots of Amman temples, Ganesh temples and Murugan temples are there in cities as well as in villages. In most of the Amman temples festivals are occurring in the tamil month of Aadi and Chitthirai. In chennai you can see most of the small Amman temples are in celebration mode in the month Aadi.

A typical village temple festival is conducted in 3 phases.

Announcement Phase:  The first phase is the announcement of celebrations, this is normally done by hoisting a holy flag in a post (called as Kodimaram in tamil and it is typically made up of wood) which is located in the entrance of a temple opposite to the main shrine. It is called as kodiyetruthal (raising the flag) or satruthal (announcement) or Kappukattuthal. After this in the village no one should consume non veg and no one should leave the village.

Kodimaram

Celebration Phase: the next phase is festival celebrations. Normally there will be a week time between the announcement and actual celebration day. In between the announcement and celebration the Statue of the God will be taken in a procession normally in the midnight around the village with traditional music and dance (Karakam, Devarattam-folk dance).

The people of the village invites their relatives who lives in near by villages for the festival. On the day of festival every family with their relatives come to temple and offer their prayer. The offer (Nerthikadan or Venduthal) would be done by many ways Theechatti (bringing fire filled pot to temple with spare hands), Kavadi, Vadam ilthual, Ma vilakku, Kann pannai, Mulaipari (normally done by girls), Pookuli (walking in hot lignite), Palkudam etc.

Theechatti:

TheeChatti2

Kavadi:

Kavadi

Mulai pari:

Mulaipari

Car Festival:

Car festival

End of Festival: the next phase is end of festival. A week later the people offer the prayer once again which is called as Marupoojai (Prayer once again). On this day the villagers play with their relatives by pouring Manjal thanni (water mixed with turmeric power) on each other. Mostly a girl used to pour Manjal thanni  on a boy who has a relationship called Mama.

You can click the below links to know more about some of the thinks mentioned in this Post

Link for Folk dance– http://www.folkdance-tamilnadu.com

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The Tamils wont forget the help offered by someone and they will be remembered for ever. This is reality that you can see even now. Yes the Pennycuick is a british engineer who constructed the engineering marvelous Mullai Periyar dam which brings the livelihood for the cumbum valley farmers. The dam was planned and built to facilitate irrigation in the southern districts Theni, Madurai, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram. Even though the british government lost hope on the possibility of dam across Mullai periyar to divert the water to the cumbum valley, the Colonel John Penny cuick who had the hope and succeeded on the construction of dam.

His birth day is on 15th January. Mostly on 14-15 January Pongal (which is thanks giving day by farmers to all the subjects who helped them in the irrigation) will be celebrated across Tamilnadu. The peoples in Theni districs will celebrate his birth day along with pongal and offer their remembrance.

In theni district most of the new born babies and shops are named after him. Most of the farmers house will have his portrait. On his birth anniversary people will gather as large group, prepare pongal and offer their prayer to the portrait of Pennycuick. They will conduct several traditional sports as part of celebrations.

Recently the tamilnadu goverment constructed and opened a memorial for him in the cumbum valley. Surely this memorial will be a worship place for all farmers in theni district and they will show their gratitude to this royal engineer till the end of this world.

Portrait of Pennycuick:

Pennycuick

Memorial for Pennycuick:

Memorial

For further readings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pennycuick_(British_engineer)

http://madrasmusings.com/Vol%2021%20No%2023/pennycuicks-marvel.html

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