Sunday, February 10, 2008

Temple festivals: Importance of the flagpost






Scenes from flag hoisting ceremony(kodiyettu) at Panthuvila Devi temple, Varkala

Temple festivals usually begin with hoisting the flag of the diety or kodiyettu on the flagpost or kodimaram. If the diety has a permanent flag post, the flag is hoisted on it. In the other case a temporary flagpost is erected for the festival and the flag is raised. The erection of the temporary flag post involves a lot of rituals. Arecanut trees, that grow thin but tall, are generally used as temporary flag posts. The tree is first identified and then cut after obtaining permission from the tree goddess. It is cut in such a manner that the tree is not allowed to fall on the ground. It is then transported to the temple premises on people's shoulders after certain rituals. The tree is then made up to flagpost by the chief carpenter or moothassari. After finishing touches are made the flagpost is erected and the flag is raised, which also marks the beginning of the festival.

The Attukal Pongala begins with the kodiyettu on February 14, 2008.

3 comments:

Leah Oviedo said...

That is so cool. Thanks for sharing. I love reading abou different cultures, especially when women are involved. :)

Hanah said...

a pretty symbology that involves it... very nice...

krystyna said...

Thanks for sharing!