Members of fishing community offer prayers to the goddess
The annual ‘Gangamma jatara' -- the festival celebrated by fisherwomen accompanied by their family members to offer prayers to the goddess of water to bless them with a safe and happy fishing season -- was organised with enthusiasm on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people from the fishing community from Jalaripeta, Pedajalaripeta and other areas thronged the Gangamma temple in the fishing harbour area sporting new attire and offering turmeric and vermillion. They also danced to the tunes of dappu and other musical instruments. Some fishermen offered animal sacrifice.
The festival started with prayers in the morning and a huge procession with Pulivesham, Koya dance, and Tappetagullu were the highlights in the evening session.
Fishermen believe that the goddess saved them from loss of life and properties when tsunami stuck several coastal areas in 2004.
Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivas, senior port and fisheries department officials also offered prayers. Mr. Srinivas wished a successful fishing season as well as a good monsoon.
Fishing season will start from midnight of May 31 after conclusion of annual conservation for 47 days. The ban on fishing was imposed in the entire east coast from April 15.
AP Mechanised Fishing Boat Operators' Association president P.C. Appa Rao said the ‘Gangamma jatara' was an annual ritual to seek the blessings of goddess Gangamma for good catch during the new season and to ensure safe voyage.