Paying obeisance to the sea

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: Those in close association with the sea, have peculiar traditions and customs.

Here is an interesting customary ritual a particular sect of the Gujarati community settled in Kozhikode has been observing for years — of paying obeisance to the sea — at a time when tsunami strikes are cause for perennial nightmares.

For the 63rd year in succession, the Shree Calicut Lohana Mahajan Shree Jalaram Seva Trust observed the ritual of paying obeisance to their sea deity Zulelal, seeking protection and prosperity, and warding off evils, at a programme organised at the beach here on July 7.

Trust president Jayanth Kumar Ratansi, secretary Mukesh Bhatia, and scores of members participated in the rituals. The trust members went in a procession to the beach to perform the rituals which were conducted in earlier years when traders set off with goods to the sea.

The observance falls on the second day of the month of Azhad in the Gujarati calendar.

Offerings to the sea include sweets, milk, coconut, and arecanut.

The prayer to the mighty ocean, was to protect the boats from sea pirates and fury of the waves, for prosperity in business and peace in family and society, Hari Kant, senior member of the community, said.

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