Unique customs and rituals prevailing in the place can be well witnessed in these festivals and splendid decorations robe up the district in a wondrous way. Festivals of Puducherry also augment the district tourism by alluring visitors from distant places.
Different Festivals of Puducherry
Puducherry is a land of fairs and festivals. Following are the different festivals of Puducherry.
Masi Magam Festival: Masi Magam is another grand festival celebrated on the sea shores of Puducherry in the month of March. On this occasion, ritual bathing of sacred idols of deities from about 50 temples of different regions takes place in the mornings. A procession of these idols is organized in the evening on illuminated chariots after which the images are returned to the respective temples. Holy dip is also taken by the devotees with a faith of getting rid of their sins.
Villianur Temple Car Festival: Villianur Temple Car Festival is an earliest tradition about the famous deity named ‘Thirukamemswara Kukilambal’. On this day, the famous God is taken out for a march past in a decorated chariot. This chariot is pulled by the devotees and is regarded as one of the holiest traditions of pulling the sacred chariot. The festival is a classic Hindu tradition where the devotees give curd, rice, sandal, buttermilk and it is believed that their wishes are fulfilled by serving the crowd.
Bastille Day Festival: Bastille Day, one of the major festivals in Puducherry is also recognized as the ‘National Day of France’. On the eve of the Bastille Day, retired soldiers keep themselves in parade and celebrate the day with Indian and French National Anthems.
Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Festival: The Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry is a very celebrated and magnificent festival. People from different corners of India and also other foreign countries come to this state in this period to take part in the celebration of the Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry.
Pongal Festival: Pongal is the crop festival of rural Puducherry. Houses are spring-cleaned and adorned with elaborate, colourful patterns in this festival. Old clothes and mats are ritually burnt. The Pongal dish is a pot-pourri of rice, jaggery, sugar and raisins and served in fresh pots. People dress up and visit each other.
The Mangani Festival: It is another festival of Puducherry. For 4 days, the innovative events are re enacted. The image of Lord Shiva is taken out through the streets, in a decorated palanquin, at which the townsfolk throw mangoes from rooftops, much to the happiness of the crowd gathered below.
Fete De Puducherry Festival: It's a cultural show; concurrent with the Liberation Day and Independence Day. The intensely light Park Monument makes for a wonderful sight. The fete features free evening cultural presentations at the municipal theatre (Kamban Kalaiarangam) and Gandhi Square.
Ayudha Puja Festival: This date marks the end of Navaratri, the nine-day festival of Goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Mascarade Festival: Mascarade Festival is also known as Mask festival and is celebrated in the month of March-April. People in fancy dresses and unique masks perform gimmick dance on the streets on this occasion. The performances are accompanied by trumpets and accordion.
Veerampattinam Car Festival: In the month of August, there is one more celebrated car festival notable in Veerampattinam, a fishing village close to Ariyankuppam. On this day the temple car with the image of the God basking in best clothes is taken out for procession around the village.
International Yoga Festival: International Yoga festival is organized every year by the Government of Puducherry with the aim of keeping the science of Yoga alive among people. The celebrations are held from 4th to 7th January which attracts numerous participants from all around the globe. Consultations, discussions, exchange of new concepts and demonstrating various techniques form the main attractions of the festival. Cultural programs of classical music and dance are also organized every day.
Other festivals of Puducherry include Swamikalyanam, Vishnutheertham, Mandalam vilakku, Pandokuloththira, Koyodan Korothithra, Mandolilthira, Putha Lanthira, Sedal, fire walking etc.
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