Float Festival

Float festival in Madurai is celebrated on the full moon night between the months of January and February. It is celebrated between mid January and mid February. On this occasion, the images of Lord Sundaresa and Goddess Meenakshi are taken out of the Meenakshi temple. The deities, decked with pearl crown and mounted on golden bull, are taken out in a huge procession. The icons of the deities are then floated in Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur.

Mariamman Theppakulam is situated about 5 kilometers south east of Meenakshi Temple. It is a huge temple tank that was built in 1636. The tank is about 1,100 feet in length and about 950 feet in breadth. It has an island pavilion at its center. The island also has a temple that enshrines the image of the elephant-faced Hindu God, Lord Vigneshwara. The water of the Mariamman Theppakulam turns colorful on this occasion. Devotees float the images of the deities in decorated floats. Moreover, the tank is connected through underground channels to river Vaigai. Tirumala Nayak is said to have constructed the granite steps surrounding the tank.

Float festival at Madurai is the occasion when God Alagar, also known as Lord Vishnu, married his sister Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Shiva. On this occasion, people of Madurai dress themselves in yellow and red. People also dance and spray color on each other on this auspicious occasion.

Last Updated on 9/15/2011