NAGAPATTINAM: Honouring Adipaththa Nayanar, a Saivaite saint and one among the 63 Nayanars who penned literary works praising Lord Shiva, residents of Nambiyar Nagar Village, every year, celebrate the age-old 'Golden Fish Festival' with pride and gaiety. This year too, like always, they held processions through the village by carrying silver and gold-coloured idols of fish on Friday.
Later, as part of the celebrations, on a packed motorised boat, temple priests, fishermen and village representatives dipped the fish idols into the sea off the coast of Nagapattinam. An Adipaththa Nayanar idol was held high on the boat.
"The festival is an annual reminder of the hamlet's significance in Tamil history. Such festivals are an occasion for us to display our tradition, values and our devotion to God," said C Ganesan, an elderly person from the village. "Owing to the pandemic, the celebrations were kept minimal last year. This year, however, thousands gathered for it," said G Gunasekaran, a fisher representative from Nambiyar Nagar.
People from across the State went to the village to take part in the festival. R Sumathi, a lecturer from Chennai, said, "I had never traveled in a fishing boat before or taken part in such a unique festival. It was a great experience for all of us." Legend has it that Lord Shiva tested Adipaththar's (a common man) devotion by placing a golden fish in his fishing net. However, Adipaththar offered it to God. Overwhelmed by his devotion, Lord Shiva blessed him with heavenly ascension.