Mulaikottu- is one of the famous Village festivals celebrated particularly in Southern part of Tamil Nadu, India. It is a long belief of the villagers that by celebrating the festival in their village they could make goddess mariamman happy. By doing so they believe that they can get her blessing and sufficient rain for better cultivation. This festival is generally celebrated during the late June or early July every year. Large number of migrated people from the village due to various reason join together and they share their happiness on the auspicious occasion of Mulaikottu. The festival lasts for one week. During these period large number of petty shops will be established to make the even more attractive and enjoyable.
Customary celebration of Mulaikottu
On the auspicious beginning of the village festival, a village meeting will be convened to sort out the best suitable date for the celebration of Mulaikottu. Before fixing any date, the pradhan and secretary of the village gather some information from the villagers regarding any marriage or anyone suffering from chicken pox etc. If anyone is affected by chicken pox, occurred any kind of sudden death or fixing anyone's marriage, under these circumstances the date of mulaikottu will be either postponed or cancelled according to the public opinion at the meeting. The celebration begins with collection of nine different types of grain seeds from every house, we call thandal in Tamil. The date of Mulaikottu is fixed in such a way that counting from the day of thandalthe seventh day should be a tuesday. The main function will be held on this day called mulaikottu. On the next day of thandal, the temple committee distribute the grains to every house for setting up of pari.
What is pari?
It is nothing but an utensil made up of mud in the same way as like a mud pot or any other mud items. This has wide mouth and shrinked base having hole at the bottom. This utensil is specially made for this purpose and sold at the market. The villagers visit the market and purchase number of paries as they wanted to setup in their home.
How to setup pari at home
The first and foremost step is cleaning of paries and their home on the second day of thandal. People used to collect goat dung and some hay. The hay is used to block the hole of the pari. A layer of goat dung is spread over the hay and watered to make the dung wet. This is the procedure of setting up up of pari.
As a next step to this, the received nine type of grains from the temple committee, is smoothly spread over the goat dung on the pari. Following this, a pooja will be arranged for praying the goddess to make the pari a successful one. Every house may have more than two paries. These paries taken into a dark and isolated room in their house. For the next seven days they have to grow the seedlings into a plant. Usage of loudspeaker and crackers are completely banned during this period. During evening, all villagers assemble in front of the mariamman temple start singing folk songs and folk dance. All paries will be brought into the amman temple from the houses on the sixth day of thandal. The paries will remain in the amman temple for one night and on the next day with a great pooja celebration the paries will be issued back to their respective member. Finally, these paries were submerged into the village pond.
This is a kind of religious belief and practice to make the goddess mariamman happy and to pray for getting more rain in the future for better cultivation. The village gets a face lift during the celebration of this village festival in southern part of Tamil Nadu.