What is the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple Festival

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What is the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple Festival

Nallur Kandaswamy temple festival is a twenty-five days long commemoration, recognized as Sri Lanka’s longest holy festival, in reverence of the God Murugan Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka in August or September depending on the Tamil Calendar. The festival is located at Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (Temple) (Tamil: நல்லூர் கந்தசுவாமி கோவில் Sinhala: නල්ලුරුව ස්කන්ධ කුමාර කෝවිල) is a significant Hindu temple, located in Nallur, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. following the 'Aadi Amavasai' day.

The Nallur Festival is commemorated to worship Lord Murugan, Goddesses Valli, and Deivanai.

The Festival is always magnificent. It is said that many saints have lived and have been blessed by the Lord in this temple. Which is why whoever visits the temple feels peaceful.

Traditionally, as a sign of respect, males above the age of 3 years cannot wear a dress above the waist, and females (above 3 years) should wear a long dress.

The Sri Lanka Nallur Festival commences with the flag hoisting ceremony and the first 10 days are a series of religious ceremonies. The next 9 days take place around the Nallur Kandaswamy temple and the 10th-day Mancham festival will be held. Hereafter Arunagrinathar festival, Sooriyotsavam (Sooriyan festival), karthigai festival, Santhanagopalar festival, Kaliasavaganam festival, Kayavallimahavalloi utsavam, Thankaratam, Palani utsavam, Orumuga festival, Sappram,

In this holy period’s statue of the Lord Murugan are respectfully transported throughout the entirety of the festival in revered vehicles in the form of animals: peacocks—silver and green; cobra and swan; all considered sacred to the holy spectrum.

Bringing together thousands of devotees to participate in this colorful spectacle, Nallur Kovil festival in Jaffna parades through the inner premises of the temple by day and its outskirts by dusk, and well into the night.

Ther Festival

Ther Festival is a 24th-day chariot Festival. This year the Chariot festival was held on 17 August, in which the holy statue of the god Murugan is placed in a chariot, amidst the constant drumming and chanting.

The Chariot festival begins at 8 am and then will reach the temple entrance again at eleven o'clock in the morning after completing the ceremony. The huge and heavy chariot carrying the statue of God Shanmuhar and consorts is paraded along the streets of the Temple. The chariot pulled by a rope of thousands of devotees, rich and poor, old and young stand shoulder to shoulder in pulling it gives the opportunity to witness the sincerity and purity of the devotees.

Devotees worship with hundreds of people from all over the country and abroad to participate in the festival. They hurl coconuts as well as themselves on to the ground in a way of ritualistic practice, in honor of true dedication to their faith. On the streets, behind the chariot, many devotees gathered to enjoy the song of Adi Bajna. On this day, in the charitable centers of Temple Road, Bajna, Pannisai, Arulisai, Kathaprasangam, and Arulurai will be performed. These festivities conclude once the chariot carrying the god Murugan’s statue returns to its original starting place in the temple.

Theertham

The 25th day is Theertham ( The water cutting festival) The Theertham celebrating the resolution of our sins. On this day evening, the Lowering of the Holy Flag festival will be held. Following this, the Poongavanam festival, (the wedding of Lord Muruga and the Goddesses Valli and Deivanai will take place). Festivities conclude with Vairavarshanthi.

This is an important cultural and religious event in the Tamil calendar, it attracts surveillance by the police and Sri Lankan security forces who are deployed in large numbers to protect the premises of the temple and its devotees.

This year devotees were requested to present proof of identity to enter the temple premises and after the impact of Covid-19 on places of religious worship, the grandeur of this vibrant Hindu festival with devotees gathering in the thousands was restricted to maintain social distancing and sanitization.

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