Kerala

Arthunkal church fete gets under way

Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil leading the ceremony of flag hoisting for the Feast of St. Sebastian at the St. Andrew’s Basilica at Arthunkal on Saturday evening.– Photo: By Special Arrangement

Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil leading the ceremony of flag hoisting for the Feast of St. Sebastian at the St. Andrew’s Basilica at Arthunkal on Saturday evening.– Photo: By Special Arrangement  

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The Feast of St. Sebastian, or the famed ‘Arthunkal Perunnal’, has commenced at the St. Andrew’s Basilica at Arthunkal. The 17-day annual fete got under way on Saturday evening with Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil of the Roman Catholic diocese of Alappuzha hoisting the festival flag.

Prior to the ceremony, the flag was brought in procession from the Kattoor Forane Church with the accompaniment of hundreds of vehicles. A large number of devotees thronged the premises of the St. Andrew’s Basilica to witness the ceremony.

Auxiliary Bishop Samuel Mar Irenios of the Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese inaugurated the Bible convention organised in connection with the festival on Sunday. Prayer sessions, cultural get-togethers and public meetings have been arranged during the festival. Thousands of devotees from various parts of the State are expected to participate in the festivities on January 20, the high point of the festival. The district administration has declared a local holiday for government offices and educational institutions in Cherthala taluk on the day on account of the occasion.

The curtains will come down on the 17-day fete on January 27 with a procession during when the statue of St. Sebastian will be carried to the Arthunkal beach and back to the Basilica. On the same day, many devotees will observe the ritual of crawling on their knees to the church from the beach.



The curtains will come down on the 17-day fete on January 27 with a procession.



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Printable version | Jul 21, 2019 8:26:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/arthunkal-church-fete-gets-under-way/article6779690.ece

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