MADURAI: The much-awaited Chithirai festival, also known as 'Chithirai Brahmotsavam', kicked off in the city on Tuesday after a gap of two years due to the pandemic.
Thousands of devotees thronged the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple to witness the flag hoisting ceremony in the early hours of Tuesday. With COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, the footfall to the temple for the festival saw a major spike compared to other days.
Amid the Vedic hymns by the temple priests and thousands of devotees' presence, the flag was hoisted in the temple’s 'Kodimaram' in the morning. The main procession of deities - Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar - were brought to the Mandapam near the 'Kodimaram' before the flag hoist.
According to the HR&CE officials, arrangements were made to handle a large number of devotees' arrival, and other special arrangements were made in and around the temple premises. Ticket booking for padi darshan for the Thirukalyanam rituals is presently underway, the officials added.
Extravaganza to end on April 16
Considered to be the largest festival celebrated in the district, the Chithirai Thiruvizha at the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple will end on April 16. Special arrangements have been made in and around the temple area.