Pongal: Fishermen celebrate festival with Kadal Matha


Ramanathapuram: Fishermen in this coastal region of Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, have been celebrating Pongal, marking the birth of the Tamil month of Thai, in a different style. Their ancestors began the practice of worshipping the Sea Goddess (Kadal Matha) while farmers elsewhere worshipped the Sun God.

On the festival, the Saptha Kannikas (7 women) are dressed as brides. These girls prepare Pongal in separate pots in front of the temple, the temple priest places them in the sail boat as villagers stand in reverence.

After completing the ritual, the girls, wearing garlands, are taken as part of a procession to the sea with hundreds of men and women.
 

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