They say people can go to any extend to fulfil their wish to have offspring. Interestingly, the couples living in and around Ulundurpet, Tamil Nadu follow an entire process to ensure that they become parents. 

 

The couples make a deal with Angalamaan, the presiding deity at the Kattunemili village to conceive a child. They make a promise to the god that if she grants their wish, the couple will donate their newborn to the temple. 

 

Once the baby is delivered, the parents go to the temple and give the newborn as a gift to the temple priest. 

 

Surprised? Well hold on, there is more to this story.   

 

The temple priest after receiving the newborn as a gift announces an auction of this gift where the biological parents buy the baby back after making a payment as per their financial capability. The parents usually pay between ₹50 to ₹1000 to buy back their own child. 

 

The auction of the newborns is organised as part of a 10-day festival and this year it was hosted on February 24 and on March 4. According to a report, this year’s auction saw more than 100 babies being bought back by their parents.  

 

Apart from the newborn auction, the festival has many other events worth noting. The main event is called Mayana Kollai which is raiding the nearby cemetery. 

 

The devotees also carry a decorated deity using a palanquin while raiding the cemetery. In fact, some enthusiasts also dress to look like the deity and lead the group of devotees marching towards the graveyard. Often, these devotees dressed as the deity carry chicken in their mouth. Devotees also sacrifice goats at the cemetery, offers food, liquor and cigarettes appease the dead people. 

 

This year on February 26, the Mayana Kollai began, and it was observed in many temples in Tamil Nadu. But, the newborn auction was held only at Ulundurpet.