Festivals of Trichy
Trichy, like many other regions in Tamil Nadu, celebrate a variety of festivals and most of them are based on a religious concept or directly linked to a mythological event. Once such interesting and unique festival celebrated in Trichy is the Float festival. This festival is quite famous among the Hindu community of Tamil Nadu and is observed during the full moon night of the Tamil month of Thai.
Most of the major temples in Trichy have a huge built-in water tank among the other architectural structures. The main event of the float festival, as the name suggests, is the floating of the idols of the primary and accompanying deities of the temple on these water tanks using lavishly decorated rafts adorned with flowers and sparkling lamps. The festival commences on a grand note and thousands of devotees gather on the temple premises to witness the stunning display.
The idols are usually allowed to float on the water tank for three rounds while many devotees watch from the steps of the tank from all the four sides to get a nearby glance of the event. The Ranganatharswamy temple in Srirangam, Trichy is one among the other temples that celebrate this festival annually.
Vaikuntha Ekathasi Festival
During the Dhanurmasa period according to the Hindu calendar (approximately in December or January), the Hindu community believes that Vaikuntha Dwaram or the holy gate to Lord Vishnu’s heavenly abode remains open. It is on this day the Vaikuntha Ekathasi festival is celebrated. Vishnu temples, all across the world, arrange special prayers and perform holy rituals to commemorate this auspicious day. It is also a wide believe in Hinduism that on observing the Vaikuntha Ekathashi festival, one receives the right to possess the freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
The Vaikuntha Ekathashi fasting is associated with the festival and is considered mandatory and important among many strong believers. Devotees, during the festival, fast for the whole day and engage themselves in prayers and meditations to the Lord.
Legends have it that Muran, a mythological demon unleashed fear among the Gods with his brutal activities and being unable to bare his tyranny any longer, the Gods approached Lord Vishnu for a solution. The latter determines to slay the demon and the Vaikuntha Ekathashi festival is celebrated to mark the success of this mission.
So, from a spiritual point of view, Muran is considered as a representative of all the human misdeeds and on overcoming these one can achieve purity in the heart and soul and thereby leading to the realization of oneself.
The Srirangam temple in Trichy celebrates this festival with much grandeur for 21 days where the idol of the primary deity Lord Vishnu is adorned with jewels and diamonds and bought to the 1000 pillared hall from his shrine through the northern gate called Paramapada Vasal, which is considered to the Gateway to Heaven. This gate is opened only once in a year on the Vaikutha Ekathashi festival day.