6 December 2016

2016 Arunachala Karthigai Festival: Sugarcane Cradles

There are a number of Temples in Tamil Nadu at which parents pray and make a vow that they may bear a child. In such Temples, one can see wooden and cloth cradles hanging from trees as representative of a vrata (vow) between the parent and the Deity that their wish of progeny might be fulfilled. 

Boon cradles hanging from branches of our own Mahila Maramas in the Temple's Third Parakam

Often the parent vows to complete an austerity or ceremony if the Lord grants their boon. One such ceremony is for the parent to carry the child (once born) on circumambulation of the Temple in a sugarcane cradle. 

It used to be that on the tenth and final day of Karthigai Deepam, one used to see a small number of parents carrying such cradles around the perimeter streets (mada veedhis) of Arunachaleswarar Temple. But nowadays not just on the tenth and final day, but on everyday one may see large numbers of happy parents carry their child in such a homage.

Child being carried inside a sari cradle hanging from sugar canes

Sugar cane with cotton sari cradle

Stacks of sugarcane available on the side of the streets for happy parents

Car Street with lots of activity and milling devotees

This family are in the Temple Compound in front of Periyar Nandi, Fifth Prakaram

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