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 Kerala - The Land of Festivals

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JudyLuke
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Registration date : 2007-07-12

PostSubject: Kerala - The Land of Festivals   Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:39 pm

The attractions of a Kerala Tourism include its magical festivals, spectacular art forms, spectacular boat races, spicy cuisine and everything else a discerning tourist ask for. Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, falls on the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.
All through the day the devotees keep severe fast and chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" . They maintain long vigils during the night, keeping awake to listen to stories, hymns and songs. The fast is broken only the next morning, after the nightlong worship.
The celebration of Sivarathri at the Siva temple at Aluva on the sand bank of River Periyar is attended with great enthusiasm. Here the Lingom (idol) of Siva rises out of the sand on the bank of the river and the pilgrims running into several thousands congregate here. People belonging to all classes, castes and creeds assemble for this festival, some for worship, some for merchandise and some for sightseeing.
There are shows, dances etc. meant for keeping the pilgrims awake throughout the night. In addition to the observance of Shivratri rites, most of the pilgrims offer Bali (sacrifice) to their ancestors in the morning succeeding the holy night.
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