GODDESS LIVES ONLY FOR 24 HOURS IN SIVAKASI:
Normally if a temple is constructed, it will be maintained for worship for years together. But in Sivakasi, of Tamilnadu, there is a different practice of demolishing the temple on the third day.
This practice is there in Sivakasi for more than 50 years. This is celebrated as a festival in the month of Tamil ‘Maasi-month’ (Jan-Feb). In that month, a particular week is selected for this celebration. Selected ladies will observe fasting. A lamp is lighted in a common place. All the women will worship the lamp as the Goddess, by performing ‘Kummi-Dance’. After this, they light the lamp on Friday morning and a mall temple is built up in that place. The next day i.e on Saturday, the Amman is erected with the red-sand and worshiped as ‘Muththaalamman’. Her eyes are opened by the cock’s leg-blood.
For this festival, women are observing ‘fast’ for 1 week. They built the temple by arranging bricks on Friday and the Amman is erected on Saturday-night. They worship by offering chicken, dry-fish and egg. In this pooja, no male member will join. In each street, the Amman differs as ‘Paarvathi’, ‘Maariyamman’ and Muthaalamman’. This is as per the wish of the street residents. Food –donations are also performed. On the last day of the festival, i.e. on Sunday, three old ladies will keep separately a handful of sand of the temple area and then they demolish the temple, by putting the ‘Amman’ in the Well .The temple -sand kept separately for mixing for the construction of the temple for the next year.
The specialty of this festival is that the Amman is destroyed within 24 hours. By worshiping like this, all diseases are believed to be cured. Muththalamman is believed to give whatever is demanded including ‘child-gift’ to the childless women. Moreover, she blesses their children to live long without any trouble. In this festival, all can participate, irrespective of their religion and caste. Responsibility is shared among all and integrity is also developed among them.