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Muthappan festival begins

Staff Reporter
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‘Thiruvappana' ritual to be performed today

UNIQUE FORM OF WORSHIP:A vellaattam ritual in progress as part of the Sree Muthappan festival in Kollam on Monday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar
UNIQUE FORM OF WORSHIP:A vellaattam ritual in progress as part of the Sree Muthappan festival in Kollam on Monday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

: The maiden Sree Muthappan festival here got off to a colourful start on Monday at the YMCA complex.

The ceremonies began with the “Malayirakkam” ritual when the Muthappan is symbolically brought to devotees from his Kunnathurpadi abode or madappura.

A temporary madappura was erected at the venue and the ritual was performed by the pujari of the madappura, who is known as “matayan”.

The malayirakkam ritual took about 30 minutes after which the devotees took part in the ‘annadaanam.'

Muthappan, considered to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva, arrived in the afternoon through the ‘vellattaam' ritual. Dressed ornately in captivating red and a spectacular headgear, Muthappan arrived to the beat of drums. The ritual comprises the matayan drawing “chaithanyam” from the madappura lamp and transferring it to Muthappan.

The ceremony comprises rhythmic dancing by the matayan and Muthapan to the beat of drums.

Though Sree Muthappan is a Hindu deity, the worship is different from those witnessed at Hindu temples in that instead of an idol, a ritual enactment of Muthappan is worshipped as Lord Shiva. Muthappan is the presiding deity of the Parassinikadavu temple in Kannur.

The festival will continue on Tuesday with Thiruvappana, considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishu joining Muthappan through the ‘thiruvappana' ritual to bestow devotees with Vishnu chaithanyam. Darshan by Muthappan to the devotees will start from 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The festival has been organised by the Kollam-based Sree Muthappa Bhakthajana Samithy.

Sreekumar Perinad, secretary of the samithy, said the samithy plans to construct a Sree Muthappan temple in Kollam.

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