Hindus celebrate "Kumbam" festival

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 October 2002, 20:19 GMT]
Annual 'Kumbam' festival was held in Trincomalee Tuesday evening at the end of the nine-day 'Navarathiri' (nine nights) celebrations. 'Navarathiri' is an annual festival celebrated by Hindus across the world, especially in India and Sri Lanka, where prayers are held for first three nights for Goddess ‘Thurgai’ (bravery), second three nights for Goddess ‘Lakshmi’ (wealth) and the final three nights for Goddess ‘Saraswathy’ (education).

‘Vijayathasamy’ day is celebrated at the end of ‘Navarathiri, when children who reach school going age are introduced to writing alphabets in their mother tongue. Hindus believe that children thus introduced to education will be blessed to excel in their studies.

The 'Kumbam' festival which is unique to Trincomalee is held on the ‘Vijayathasami’ day.

Kumbam festival in Trincomalee.Sikh soldiers brought by the Britishers to construct Trincomalee naval yard introduced the ‘Kumbam’ celebration among Hindus in the east port town nearly two hundred years ago. Since, then long after Indian Sikhs soldiers left the country, Hindus in Trincomalee continue to celebrate the ‘Kumbam’ festival every year.

'Kumbam' is a silver pot decorated with margosa leaves and colored papers to form a tower up to eight to ten feet. Every Hindu temple in Trincomalee starts constructing ‘Kumbam’ from the first day of Navarathiri. On the ninth day, the devotees who have observed the ‘Navarathiri’ fasting place the decorated ‘KUMBAM’ on their heads and go in processions across the city.


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