Saraswati Devi temples in Kerala are gearing up for Navaratri festival which will be celebrated from October ten to 19.
Unlike in other parts of India where the Dugra aspect of the Goddess is the focus of the celebrations, in Kerala, Goddess Saraswathi (Goddess of arts and learning) is given greater prominence.
The last three days of the festival – Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are the most important. Ayudha Puja (worship of tools) and Pustaka Puja (worship of books) are the most important aspects of the Navarathri celebrations in Kerala.
Another ritual performed on Vijayadashami is Vidyarambam. This process initiates young children (aged between 2 and 6) into the world of letters.
Panachikkadu Saraswati Temple in Kottayam, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur and Chottanikkara Devi Temple in Ernakulam are some of the big temples where the ceremony of Vidyarambham is performed with great reverence.
Thousands of children get initiated into learning on this day. Several other small and large temples in Kerala also conduct Vidyarambham. The Thunchan Parambu in Malappuram (the birthplace of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the poet-saint revered as the father of Malayalam language) is also very popular.
At the Arappura Sree Eswari Amman Temple, Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram, various poojas and cultural events would be organised in connection with the festival which would get underway with a ‘Mahaganapati Homam.’
Several prominent personalities, including Mr M Nandakumar IAS, Padmasree Dr. J Hareendran Nair, Symphony Krishnakumar, actor Manu Varma and astrologer Sankaramangalath B Thrilochanan, would initiate tiny tots into the world of letters on the auspicious occasion of Vidyarambham on October 19.
One of the major highlights of the closing day of the festival would be a ‘Balasaraswati Pooja’ to be performed by temple tantri. Rajya Sabha MP and actor Suresh Gopi would perform ‘Paadha Pooja’ to young girls on the occasion.
A Sarpabali pooja will also be performed under the leadership of Brahmasree Edamana Narayanan Potty on November 28.