Aadi Amavasai, at Maamaangam Temple, Batticaloa

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Hindus welcome the month of Aadi merrily, although it is believed to be an inauspicious month to have weddings. But Aadi is the month for festivals. Most of the Hindu temples in the Island have their annual festivals during this month.

Maamaanga Pillaiyar temple is situated in a calm and shady place in Amirthkazhi, in the eastern town of Batticaloa. The annual chariot festival of Sri Maamanga Pillaiyar temple was held on July 20th 2009, while the water cutting ceremony took place on July 21st 2009.

Aadi Amaavaasai was observed on the same day, which is dedicated to our forefathers. Devotees in large number attended the chariot festival and water cutting ceremony of the temple. Devotees from Colombo thronged the temple. Most of the devotees stayed in the compound and enjoyed the cool-refreshing breeze, and participated in the religious rituals.

Devotees flocked for chariot festival

Women carry pot of camphor

Male devotees fulfill their vows by rolling on the ground

Lord Vinayagar's chariot is on the move

Lord Vinayagar is dressed in green after been taken on a chariot to bless the devotees

Idols are decorated for the water cutting ceremony

Devotees take a dip in the Maamaanga Nathi on Aadi Amaavaasai

An ocean of devotees gathered to carry out rituals

Sculptures of the small tower of the Sri Maamaanga Pillaiyar temple

Another view of the temple

Kaaththottikkaai, is especially cooked on Aadi Amavaasai. Kaaththottikkaai tastes sour. It's a sacred day, which falls during the Tamil month of Aadi. The day is observed with carrying out various rituals and prayers to our forefathers. Keerimalai in Jaffna is famous to fulfill the vows and carry out the rituals. Likewise in the East Maamaanga Pilliayar temple is famous for Aadi Ammavaasai. Devotees go to the ocean to take a bath, purify themselves before the take part in religious rituals.

Kaaththottikkaai is sold Rs.1,000/= per kilogram in Jaffna market due to high demand.

Saiva priests, who performs rituals during a Hindu funeral, do the same rituals on Aadi Amavaasai day. The relatives of the demise take part in the rituals, while offering vegatbles and rice to the priest. The devotees also observe a fast and have a vegetarian meals for the day