Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ashtami Chapparam Festival: Chariot Procession

One of the prominent festival among the various festivals of Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is "Ashtami Chapparam Festival", chariot procession. The procession would be held on Friday, December 19, 2008 at 5.30 a.m. Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Priyavidai in one Chariot and Goddess Meenakshi in another chariot. The chariot is fully decorated with colorful clothes, various flowers and garlands. One of the notable feature of this festival is that Goddess Meenakshi's hair is fully decorated with "Thazhampoo", a kind of flower. The chariot is hand drawn by devotees itself. Another salient feature of the event is that the Goddess Meenakshi's chariot is hand drawn by women devotees alone. The chariot procession starts at 5.30 a.m. The temple priests will perform special pujas, aaradhanas and start the procession. The procession covered all the four veli streets of Madurai.

This festival is one of the Thiruvilayadal of Lord Sundareswarar. The feature of this festival is that Lord Sundareswarar provides foodstuff to all living beings on this day. The story behind this is festival is once upon a time, Goddess Parvathi played a small game with Lord Shiva to test His power. She picked an hungry ant and closed it in a box. Afterwards, She said to Lord Shiva, You are providing food to all living beings is it? Lord Shiva smiled and said Yes. Then what about this ant? This ant is so hungry. You did not provide any food to this being. Once again, Lord Shiva smiled and asked Gowri to view the ant. Maa Gowri viewed and surprised, a small piece of rice is in the box and ant is eating it. What a great miracle is! Ashtami Chapparam attracts devotees from far and near. Thousands of devotees gathered on the four veli streets of Madurai to view the "
Ashtami Chapparam" of Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

Hara Hara Sankara Maha Deva
Shiva Shiva Sankara Maha Deva
Soma Sundara Maha Deva
Meenakshi Sundara Maha Deva

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Blogger VENKATESAN said...

Logathill ulla anaithu Jeeva rasikkum Appan padi alndha naal.In naalil logathil subiksham nilaykka ammai,appanai thozhuvom.


December 18, 2008 at 10:38 AM  

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