The tale of faiths is as old as the genesis of human beings. If you want to plug into a different faith with a vigorous offering, pay a visit to the St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Church in North Paravoor on the day of Dukhrana.
On July 3 every year, newly-married couples seeking the blessings for a baby offer ‘Neyyappam Nercha’ in the church. This has been a custom going on from time immemorial here.
‘Neyyappam Nercha’ or ‘Neyyappam Nercha’ has now become a symbol of communal harmony in Paravoor. Its history dates back to 1556 when the church was consecrated in the name of St Thomas Apostle.
A large number of faithful irrespective of caste and creed come for the special offering. Neyyappam is a Kerala delicacy made out of rice and flour fried in coconut oil. A total of 30,000 appams will be distributed at the church this year.
“The appam offering of the church is given to the devotees as different shares based on the quantity - a full share, half share or a quarter share. For a full share offering one has to offer 500 Neyyappams and from that 101 numbers will be given back to the devotees who offered it,” said Fr Elias Kaiparambattu, vicar of the church.
One can make the offering by contributing the amount for the respective share. Appam is prepared by parishioners together. Sometimes, the preparation process takes five days or more. However, it would be completed before the date of Dukhrana.
This year, there are 65 shares for the offerings. Around 50 parishioners, mainly members of Vanith Samajam, have completed the job of preparing appams, on Friday,” Fr Kaiparambattu said.
Devotees from the nearby Kottakkavu Catholic church also come here for having the sacred bread,” said Omana George, a Vanitha Samajam member.