On the fourth day of the Chithirai festival on Wednesday, the deities at the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple were adorned in traditional armour, embedded with gems and were taken out for a procession around the streets in a golden palanquin.
The deities were kept at Villapuram’s Pavakkai Mandagapadi during the day and were taken out on a procession in the gold palanquin at 6.30 pm
Devotees, especially children dressed up as gods, thronged the temple and took part in the event.
Venkateswaran, a devotee said, “Chithirai festival is held over 12 days at the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Today marked the fourth day of the festival. Chithirai is one of the most famous festivals of the world. During the festival, I prayed for my child to come for the procession dressed as Meenakshi. So today, I have come here dressed as goddess Meenakshi for my daughter. I am very happy to participate in this festival.”
Meanwhile, parents dressed up their children as Lord Shiva Murugan Meenakshi Amman as they participated in the fourth-day procession. Thousands of devotees thronged to witness the Chithirai procession.
“My daughter is the first heir of my family. So I named her ‘Umayal’ (Meenakshi Amman). My family is very happy with the name. I have brought my child here dressed as Goddess Meenakshi. I participate in Chitrai festival every year and I am delighted to be here today,” Nandini, another devotee said.
The 12-day festival at the Meenakshi temple comprises several events, including the ‘Pattabhishekam’ (Meenakshi goddess coronation) on April 30, followed by the goddess Meenakshi and Amman Sundareswarar’s celestial wedding on May 2, and the Chariot Festival on May 3.
The festival concludes on May 4 with the Theerthavari at the Meenakshi Amman temple.
As part of the Chitrai festival, Kallaghar’s descent into the Vaigai River takes place on May 5.