Chettiar Clan Temples
Chettinad is a region where a strong culture has been preserved by the Chettiar community. The community is organized around 9 clan temples. Each member of the Chettiar community belongs to a clan and each clan has its own temple run by its own committee.
Ayannar is the Tamil God “of everything ": rain maker, god of children, cattle, villages, earth, nature and villagers. He is present in rural areas. His abodes are not necessarily temples but outdoor shrines that are filled with terra-cotta offerings. The season of offerings is between April and September and the ritual lasts usually 3 days.
Mariamman, the Goddess of smallpox, is the deity of life, especially of women and children. She grants children and cures them. Though everyday is dedicated to her, the main festivals take place during the months of March and April. There is great fervour during these festivities, with thousands of devotees gathering in her honour.
On Deepavali day, there is a grand festive lighting of traditional lamps by the achis (the Chettiar wives). The lamps are placed with other consecrated offerings on banana leaves.
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important periods of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Navaratri is the celebration of Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Durga, the manifestations of Shakti (Female Energy or Power). Customarily, the Navaratri festival or ‘Nine Nights festival’ is prolonged by one extra day which is the culmination of nine days and nignts of joyful celebrations when the women of a household are particularly celebrated .
Watch the videos on youtube:
Monumental chariot procession
Muthu mariamman festival