When the Gods took a trip to the seashore: Maasi Magam in Pondicherry

Every year on a full moon day in Maasi- between February and March-the streets bordering Pondicherry’s shoreline turn into an explosion of colour, chatter, religious fervour and a sea of humanity. For not just mortals , but the gods themselves take a trip to the seashore!

 

Deities from temples all around Pondicherry and even neighbouring districts in Tamil Nadu make the long voyage and are taken in procession through the city’s heritage streets right up to the seashore at Vaithikuppam for the annual “theerthavari “ ceremony. Thousands of devotees accompanying the deities pour onto the Beach Road making it into the local holiday that it is.

Owing to the compactness of its size, celebrations in Pondicherry, be they French or Indian, small or big, Bastille Day parades or Maasi Magam, feel intimate and interactive.

 

You cannot but be drawn into the feverish celebrations . Nor can you miss the sight of vendors spreading out clay pots, balloons , rubber toys or undial (piggy banks) at street corners.

 

It is surely a spectacle to savour when the streets of Pondicherry come to life !

 

 

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Image courtesy of Narayana Sankar