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Showing posts from January 2, 2016

Simha Sankranti

Simha Sankranti marks the beginning of the Sun’s transition from Karka Rashi to Simha Rashi (Cancer Zodiac to Leo Zodiac)o. There are 12 Sankranthi in a Hindu Solar Calendar and Simha Sankranti is the fifth in one cycle. It is an auspicious day for many communities in Orissa and South India. In 2023, the date of Simha Sankranti is August 17. Time is at 3:57 AM on August 18. ‘San’ means plenty and good and ‘Kranti’ means radical change and Sankranthi means plenty of good change. 

Makara Vavu in Kerala

Makara Vavu is an annual ritual dedicated to the dead – ancestors, grand parents, parents, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and other relatives – performed by Hindus in Kerala in the Malayalam month of  Makaram. The day is of great importance in Varkala. Makara Vavu 2023 date is January 21. Hundreds of Hindus reach the nearest river or seashore to offer this annual ritual. The ritual performed for the souls of dead is referred as ‘Bali’ in Kerala and Vavu is Amavasya or no moon day. The ritual falls on the Amavasya or no moon day in Makaram month. Please note that the most famous Vavu ritual in Kerala is observed on the on the Karutha Vavu day in Karkidaka Masam. This is known as Karkidaka Vavu Bali.

Neendoor Sri Moolasthanam Chandra Pongala

Neendoor Sri Moolasthanam Chandra Pongal is observed in Makaram month at Nendoor in Kerala. The ritual is held at the original abode of the Goddess worshipped here.  Pongala ritual is an essential feature in many Bhagavathy Temple in Kerala. Chandra Pongala ritual is held at night. Pongala ritual comprises of preparing ‘prasad’ for the deity outside the shrine. Women cook rice and jaggery in earthen pots and they offer it to the Goddess. Coconut tree fronds are used to cook the ‘prasad.’ The temple is decorated during the period with lights, lamp, plantain, coconut fronds, flowers etc. Holy fire from the temple is taken out to start the fire for cooking Pongala.

Elavally Kavu Chowa Temple Festival

Elavally Kavu Chowa Temple is located near Guruvayoor in Thrissur District in Kerala. The shrine is around 10 km from Guruvayoor. Annual temple festival here is observed in Makaram month. The festival attracts hundreds of devotees. The annual festival is noted for various rituals. Traditional performing arts, music and dance are staged during the period. Caparisoned elephants, melam, fireworks and sheevali are part of the festival. The temple is traditionally decorated with plantain, coconut leaves, flowers, leaves, traditional lamps and lights.