Friday, February 22, 2008

Magam Festival

Similarly I have not much explored and aware about the festival Masi Magam that come in Tamil month of Masi (February-March). This festival usually falls on full moon day following the Makram star on this month and is considered highly favorable across south Indian Temples, especially in Tamil Nadu. This year Masi Magam felled on Feb 21, the full moon day. The important aspect of this festival is taking idols from the temples to the seashore or nearby ponds to dip and is also related to holy bath ceremony. After doing pujas and other rituals at the shore, thousands of devotees are throng near the shore to witness the worship and bathing in the sea.

In this process the Lord Vishnu and Shiva Idols are the most brought to the shore and also Idols from the Shakti temples. The myths are numerous according to Masi Makam and each temple has a myth for celebrating this festival. According to legend this festival importantly relates to Lord Shiva, who appears as a child before King Vallala of Tiruvannamalai, who has contributed in spreading the benefits of Girivalam and Arunachala temple and a passionate devotee of Shiva get promised by lord to perform his last ritual as he have no son or heir. What relates to this festival is the king died on a day is known as Masi Magam and it is said that the Lord performed his last rites. So it is believed that every year the Lord visits the sea to perform the last rites of the King and whoever bathes in the sea during Masi Magam will merge with him and will get mukthi(salvation).

Once in every twelve years people celebrate it in grand, and was called Maha Maham which is celebrate with great importance at the Adi Kumbeswaran temple in Kumbakonam. This temple holds a huge tank and the water from cavery driven to this tank, which deemed to be special and holiness. In my experience I was able to cover one of the celebrations in late years at Mamallapuram which was our ancestors place. This is one place the festival celebrates with highly important of two days. The first day before Masi Magam is known as Theppothsavam (floating festival). On this day Sri Ulaguyya Nindra Piran (Sthalasayana Perumal) idol from the nearest temple brought to the tank and kept on the decorated barge to make it float along the tank, to sail around for nine rounds. The steps would be filled with people watching the float raft and those interested are allowed to pull the float.

Masi Magam is conducted on the continuing day with special ritual performance for Uthsava Perumal (festival god) idol that brought to sea. After the proceeding are over, the idol was keep few distance away from the sea for moments, so that the devotees can take dip (with more excitement along with family and friends) in sea what they believe as holiness bath and then to get received blessing from the Lord. They won’t allow anyone to bath in the sea before lord enters. These are some process I have witnessed from one of my experience at Masi Magan some years back and I hope there would be nothing have changed so far. This year my cousin’s family whet to take part in Mamallapuram Magam and for some reason I unaccepted there invite. When I am writing this, the festival has been over already with a day passing, but I thought to share something about this festival.

Photos from Both pictures are taken from mamallapuram masi magma.


Alok said...

I like the way you cover festivals ... very informative ..


Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

Wow, thank you for sharing this with us. I enjoy find out about other people lives and beliefs

best wishes my dear friend,


Annie said...

It must feel quite special and spiritual to be in the presence of so many others who experience the waters there.

tulipspeaks said...

oh boy.. i didnt even know such festival exist! :O


Manimala said...

Hi Jeevan, nicely done!

Keshi said...

very interesting Jeevan n tnxx!


Jeevan said...

Alok – Thanks buddy :) how are u? looking for your posts.

Annie wicking – Thank you dear, glad you enjoy reading.

Annie – Thanks for sharing you thought annie.

Ammu – glad you know it now! Thanks.

Manimala – Welcome here :) thanks for you visit.

Keshi – Thanks dear, have a wonderful weekdays magazine heroine.

krystyna said...

Thank you Jeevan, for me it is interesting, and thanks for these beautiful photos.

di.di said...

wooooo sea of people. in malaysia, we can see thousand of indian devotees praying and parading during thaipusam @ jan 23rd.

Anonymous said...

lovely reading about this festival Jeevan in a detailed way and the customs attached with it...India is such a diverse country rich in so many traditions, customs & festivals...Thanks very much for sharing!