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Mayana Kollai – Worship of Goddess Angala Parameswari after Shivratri in Tamil Nadu

Mayana Kollai is dedicated to Goddess Angala Parameswari and it is observed the day after Mahashivratri in Tamil Nadu. This unique ritual and festival after Shivratri is actually the raid of the dead or ransacking of cemeteries. Today the festival involves a procession from the temple of the Goddess to a nearby cemetery. The festival legend also explains why Goddess Angala Parameswari appeared on earth.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva ordered Goddess Angala Parameswari to destroy a demon who had made his home in a burial ground. The Goddess, accompanied by her guard Pavadairayan, entered the burial and feasted on the corpses till she identified the demon and killed him. Mayana Kollai is based on this legend.

In ancient times it is said that people used to actually chew on bones and flesh. Today, the procession is just symbolic.

Pavadairayan, the guard of the goddess, is offered prayers only on this day.

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