Jaffna craftsmen sculptured Ther debuts in Washington festival
[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 August 2009, 09:45 GMT]
Several hundred saiva devotees from different parts of the U.S. Saturday attended the Washington Murugan Temple chariot festival held annually to coincide with the festival at the Nalloor Kandaswamy Temple in Jaffna. A new chariot funded by Sri Lanka's Tamil expatriates in New York, built in Colombo by Jaffna craftsmen, shipped to the U.S., and assembled locally, made the maiden-run Friday in preparation for the Saturday ceremony. Cognizant of the hardships suffered by relatives and friends inside internment camps, devotees kept the festivities outside the temple at a low-profile, attending devotees said.
The annual festival in Nalloor, Jaffna, which begins on the sixth day after the July's New Moon, and is already in progress. The Nalloor festival which turns Jaffna into a virtual spiritual town has suffered under the occupation of Sri Lanka military of Jaffna district, and the continued imposition of curfew which prevents devotees from other parts of Jaffna to attend the festival.
Mr Jeyakanthan, the lead wood sculpter who crafted the new chariot in the workshop in Colombo, attended the ceremony to inaugurate the chariot.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami from the Hawaii Hindu Monastry presided the event. The Hawaii monastry was built by Subramaniyaswami, a disciple of Saint Yogaswami of Jaffna.
Devotees also were collecting contributions to fabricate traditional carved doors with brass bells to replace the door in Sannathi Temple in Thondamanaaru, Jaffna.