(Last Updated on : 18-11-2014)
Kandhashasti festival is one of the prominent festivals of Chennai
which is a hub of cultural and religious fiestas. The Kandhashasti festival is held in the Tamil month of 'Aippasi', which falls in between the months of October and November. It is organised once in a year. In the Kanadaswamy temple
of Cheyyur district of Chennai
, Kandhashasti festival is celebrated with pomp and grandeur. The festival begins from the first phase of illuminating moon, better known as 'piratamai'.
During this festival, a special vratam is observed in various temples of Tamil Nadu
. However, it is the temple at Tirunchendur that attracts the highest number of pilgrims from all over the world. On this occasion, all the roads are interconnected so that every one can reach there quite easily.
, sport and plays all add to the enthralling mood of the Kandhashasti festival. On the sixth day of the festive occasion, a drama
is performed to give blessing to 'Curapatman' by 'Kantan'. Curapatman is given the honour of becoming vehicle of Kantan, known as mayil vahanam (peacock
vehicle) and the rooster on the flag of Kantan, known as cevil kodi.
All the devotees observe fasting and it lasts for six days. In fact, it becomes most important part of the Kandhashasti festival. There are various ways of observing fast. Few people devours meal only one time a day, and too in the evening slot. The menu comprises of only fruit
. There are several people who avoid every kind of solid food items. Even if they fall sick, they go to the extent of rejecting any kind of medicines and lives on liquid meal. Even some people desist from any kind of liquid meals. Even if one takes milk it would prove to be insufficient to meet the calorie requirement but the devotees are quite lackadaisical about it and carry on with fast in the austere manner. The best possible way of fasting is to desist all solid food and even medicine, though one can take water
water, strained orange juice and or such permissible liquids. These liquid ingredients actually aid in the process of flushing out undesirable contents and to cleanse ones body.
At the end of the six-day fast, one's mind and body gets purified, which is a perfect condition to seek the Divine God
. All the devotees aspire to achieve that state during the whole period of Kanta Shasti Festival. At the time of observing Vratam, several pilgrims make a beautiful recitation of 'Kanta Shasti Kavasam'. These are rhymes seeking 'Kanta' for their safety. During the recital of each and every verse, all parts of human body are being referred just to ask protection, though few main bodily parts remain unreferred. Immolation of kaala tootar is what desired by these die-heart devotees. Evil forces in and around one's surroundings, distress, disharmonies caused by the enemies - all are believed to be destroyed by the powerful chanting of 'kavasam'.