India | Tamil Nadu

Kambam Festival

Kambam Festival is celebrated in most of the villages in Tamil Nadu. ‘Kambam’ means pillar. Tuesday is the auspicious day for starting this festival. This festival begins with flower offering to Lord Ayyanar. A three-pronged branch of the Margosa plant is planted in the front side of the temple. This branch is referred to as ‘kambam’. Men dance on each day of the following week around the ‘kambam’.

On the next Tuesday, there is a ceremonial offering of ‘pongal’ (sweet dish prepared from rice) to the temple deity. A lamb is sacrificed next day, and its skin is used for decorating the chariot belonging to the deity. Women carry plates containing ‘mavilakku’ (lamp made from ball of sweetened rice flour) to the temple and offer it to the deity. The deity is carried in a chariot in a procession around the village, accompanied by fireworks. The priest of the temple fasts for the final two days. The festival concludes on Friday. The ‘kambam’ is uprooted and carried around the village and then dropped in a well. The villagers pour water mixed with turmeric powder, on each other. The festival ends with a dance or drama performance in the night.

Updated on 10th March, 2016


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