Delhi’s Tamilians celebrate Panguni Uthiram festival

When faith trumps fear & pain

Culture

March 28, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Hundreds of Tamilians living in South Delhi celebrated Panguni Uthiram in a traditional manner, piercing their bodies with sharp objects and pulling vehicles with hooks pierced on their back.

As most residents of Delhi prepared to celebrate Holika Dahan on the eve of festival of colours, Holi, hundreds of Tamilian devotees gathered at Mariyamma temple in Pantnagar in south Delhi to celebrate Panguni Uthiram, a festival commemorating the marriage of several deities including Parvati, Parameshwaran, Lord Murugan and Deivanai. The festival is considered as one of the most auspicious days of the year and is celebrated annually during the full moon of the Tamil month of Panguni (or Phalgun in Hindi), which takes place towards the end of March and means “Full Moon of Divine Marriages.” It normally falls a fortnight before the Tamil New Year that falls on April 14 this year.

On the occasion, some devotees who believe that Gods have granted their wishes, pierce their bodies with sharp objects as an act of gratitude. Before piercing their bodies, they pray to the Lord and apply holy ash or vibhuti to the body parts that would be pierced. Their belief is that the vibhuti relieves them of the pain and suffering and also acts as an effective anti-septic.

They walk with pierced bodies, often pulling heavy objects like cars or chariots in order to redeem their vows. This was the scene on Sunday in Pant Nagar as well as scores of devotees carrying paal kavaadis (milk pots) walked to the temple from various places, to fulfil their vows to Lord Muruga, son of Lord Shiva. While walking they continue to chant the name of Murugan and cheer the names of Lord Aarogra as well as chant Vitrayal Karthik Mruga.

Once it leaves the Pantanagar Mariyamma temple, the procession heads to two places, one being the Nizamuddin Periyyai temple and the other to Murugan temple in Jal Vihar.

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