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the soobah of the Deckan, who beseiged Gingee, chose this day for the assault, being persuaded the beseiged would not defend themselves and that he actually entered the place without meeting with the least resistance.
17. Mahanavany-The 9th day of the same fortnight on the same month is set apart for devotion, bathing and reading certain muntras.
18. Vejaya Desemi—On the tenth day of the increasing moon in the same month is the festival of Vejaya Desemi. This day is set apart for amusement, and the arms which had been exposed the preceding evening, are locked up. In the afternoon, the Gods are carried out of the city or village in procession to hunt, accompanied hy dancing girls and musicians, and fireworks are let off on the occasion if the feast be in the evening. On this evening likewise the Hivdoos worship the Sunii tree, (mimosa suma), which they believe is efficacious in expiating their sins and in destroying their enemies.
Naraca Chaturdusi Deepauvelly-The 14th day of the decreasing moon in the same month is celebrated as a festival. It is kept as a day of rejoicing in commemoration of the death of a giant named Naracasoor, whom Vishnoo exterminated on account of the mischief he had done to mankind. The ceremonies performed on the occasion commence with the morning twilight when the Hindoos anoint their heads with oil and bathe. The festival is said to have been instituted by Vishnoo himself and that he declared that all who make this ablution, shall have the same merit as if they had washed themselves in the ganges. The rest of the day is passed in diversion. It is one of the greatest festivals held in Guzerat, and in the Mahratta country.
20. Cadary Goury Vrutum—This feast takes place at the time of the new moon of the month Asweja and is one of the three great feasts which after having been once celebrated, obliges the person to continue the celebration every year. It is commemorated in honor of the goddess Parvatee. Those who keep it observe the demi fast and tie a yellow string on their right arm.
Scanda shusti-„On the first day of the increasing moon in the eighth month Cartica this feast commences and lasts for seven days. It is celebrated in commemoration of the defeat of Soora Pudma, a mighty giant whom the God Soobramanya (the second son of Seevah) vanquished after a combat of six days. The seventh day, the image of the deity is carried in procession and
some places they give the representation of the battle in which this giant perished. The figures are made of dried earth and armed Indians represent his troops.
22. Naga Chouty --The fourth day of the increasing moon in the month of Cartica is set apart for the worship of the cobra capella snake by pouring milk into its hole.
23. Radha Suptamy-The seventh day of the increasing moon in the eleventh lunar month Magha, is dedicated to the celebration of this festival on which the Hindoos offer their Turpanams to the spirits of deceased ancestors and homage is paid to the sun by offering rice, milk and sugar boiled together to him.
24. Mahasewaratry—The 14th day of the decreasing moon in the same lunar month Magha is set apart for this festival which is held in great esteem by the followers of Seevah. They fast during the day and pass the night in reading the Pooranas. 25.
Camadahanum-Commonly called the Holy. The fifteenth day or the full of the moon of the 12th month Phalgoona is dedicated to the celebration of this festival which is held in comniemoration of Madana, the god of love having been reduced to ashes by the eye of Seevah for bis having dared to disturb his devotions and render him enamoured of Parvatee. He was however restored to life again by that deity. All classes of Hindoos but especially Mahratta bramins, Mahrattas, and Rajpoots sport on this day in honor of the God of love whose picture is carried about with great state and afterwards burnt. The ceremonies observed on the occasion have been compared to the Saturnalia of the Romans, for all classes of society are confounded while it lasts.
Solar or Tamil Festivals.
1. Versharumbum or Vurshaporapoo-The eleventh of April, the first day of the month Chitry, when the sun enters Aries is the first day of the tamil year. It is kept as a festival by sacrificing to the spirits of deceased ancestors and giving alms to the poor and to the bramins. A good work performed on this day is considered to be worth a hundred done at any other time.
2. Dechanayana Poonyacalum--The first day of the 4th solar month Audy or July-August when the sun enters Cancer is set apart for religious observances such as the Turpanum &c.
3. Audy Poorum-On the day in the month Audy when the moon is in the constellation Poorum the festival of Audy poorum is
celebrated in the Pagodas of Seevah, the destroyer, in honor of the goddess Parvatee whose image they carry in procession in a chariot
4. Audy Pundaga—This festival takes place in the latter end of the same month. A day of recreation and entertainment on which the Hindoos feast on boiled cocoanuts.
5. Awany Moolum-On the day when the moon is in the constellation Moolum in the 5th month Awany (August-September) is the feast of Awany Moolum, which is celebrated in the temples of Seevah, in commemoration of several miracles said to have been performed by that deity.
6. Cartica Deepum-On the day, on which the moon is in the constellation Critica in the 8th month Cartica or November-December, is the festival of Aroonachala Deepum. It is kept with articular state at Trinomalee, where a great lamp is kept burning and whither pilgrims flock from all parts of the coast. The temple at Trinomalee is built at the foot of a sacred mountain, in honor of Seevah. Tradition runs that this deity descended in a column of fire to put an end to a dispute about precedence, which had arisen between Vishnoo and Bramah. Seevah, to perpetuate the memory of this event, changed the burning column, into a mountain, and commanded his followers to worship it; and it is on account of its pristine state, that during three days a great fire or lamp is lighted on the mountain's top. The lamp, which is in a large stone cauldron is fed with butter or ghee and camphire, which the people send from all parts: the match is composed of pieces of linen of several cubits length. The bramins take great care to collect the remains of this lamp, which they present to their benefactors, who every day mark their forehead with it. It is in imitation of this sacred lamp, that the worshippers of Seevah make in their houses a large cake of rice flour, kneaded with water. They make a hole in the middle, which they fill with butter or ghee, and light a small match ; they then worship this fire, and fast the whole day; and after six o'clock at night they eat the cake.
7. Vishnoo Deepum—The worshippers of Vishnoo, have a grand festival on the same day, which is called Vishnoo Deepum. It differs from the other only in the object; so that the two sects celebrate their festivals together; the streets and houses are illuminated, and the Gods carried in procession. The worshippers of Vishnoo say, that it was on the day of the full moon in this month,
that Vishnoo took the form of a bramin dwarf known by the name of Vamanavatarum and confined the powerful giant Mahabelee in the subterraneous regions, that this giant, while he governed, being very fond of illuminations, to gratify himself furnished each house with a certain measure of oil, and that in going to the subterraneous region he prayed Vishnoo that he would have the goodness to continue the custom he had established on earth. The God promised to grant his request, and at the same time permitted him to return to earth every year, on that day, that he might himself be an eye-witness how faithfully the promise he had made was kept. It is on this account that the illumination is made, and that children holding fire in their hands divert themselves in the streets with crying out Mahabeleo.
8. Moocoote Yacadesi-On the 11th day of the increasing moon in the 9th solar month Margaly, or December-January, a general fast is observed in honor of Vishnoo and kept all the day and night. This is the day of the great festival of the Vishnoo Pagoda at streerungum near Trichinopoly. The festival is also solemnized in every Vishnoo Pagoda.
9. Auroodra Durasanum--On the day of the full moon when the moon is in the constellation Auroodra in the same month is the festival of Margaly Teroomunjanum which is celebrated in the Payodas of Seevah, and particularly at Chellumbrum, where this deity is worshipped under the name of Subhaputty. 10, Ootta Rayana) On the 1st day of the 10th solar month
Poonyacalum, or Tye, or January February when the sun
Pungall enters Capricornus is the grand festival of the Pungall, which lasts three days. The ceremony consists in boiling rice with milk, in order that the parties may draw auguries from the milk boiling. As soon as the first ebullition is perceived, th women and children cry out Pungall, which means, it boils. This ceremony is performed in the house, and the place appropriated for the purpose must be first purified with cow-dung. They make a stone, on which they dress the rice, and which they first present to the Gods; and then all the people in the house must partake of it. The second day the festival is called Mauttoo Pungall, or the Pungall of cows. They paint the horns of their horncd cattle, cover them with flowers and then make them run about the streets, and lastly make Pungall for them at home. In the evening the image of the God is carried in procession out of the town. The idol is
placed on a wooden horse, whose forefeet are raised as if he was galloping and his hind feet fixed on a wooden stand, carried by several men who in their march imitate the rearing and lashing of a horse. The idol holds a lance in his hand and seems to be going a hunting. On the same day also the bramins, cast lots to know what will happen in the year following. The animals and grain, on which the lots fall, will, as they say, be very scarce; if they fall on oxen and paddy, the oxen will perish, and the paddy be dear: if they fall on horses and elephants it is a sign of war. The bramins tell the people that Sunkeruntec, one of the Deni-Gods, comes every year on earth on this day, to discover to them whether their future lot will be good or evil ; which he announces by the grain he eats, and the animal be rides of which they are informed by certain astronomical calculations. The same evening the Hindoos, with their families, make presents to and visit each other, to wish a good Pungall: somewhat after the manner observed
among Europeans on Christinas and new Year's days. 12. Tye Poosem-On the day of full moon when the moon is in the constellation Pushyme in the month Tye this festival is solemnized in the temple at Palany. It is very famous, and people flock to it from all parts of the country : and devotees who by particular reasons are prevented from going to that place, send presents which are called Paluny codum. This festival is also celebrated in all the temples of Seevah, but with less pomp.
13. Masy Makhum-On the day of full moon or on the next day on which the moon is in the constellation Magham in the month of Masy or February March, this feast is celebrated. It consists in performing ablutions in sacred water. The Hindoos are enjoined to fast on that day and make the Turpanum to the spiri's of their deceased ancestors.
14. Pungnyooturun--On the day on which the moon is in the constellation Oottaru in the month Pungoony or March-April, this festival is celebrated in the temples of Seevah in honor of his wife, the Goddess Parvatee.
The foregoing are the principal festivals observed by the Hindoos. The eleventh day of every fortnight is moreover kept holy by the observance of a rigid fast, and on the days of the new and full moon as well as those in which an eclipse of either the sun or moon takes place, and on several other occasions, a demi fast is observed by them.