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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular festivals and events hosted in Pondicherry?

Reet Cheema DEC 10 2012
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Festivals are a flamboyant and yearly affair in Pondicherry. With a multicultural society you can expect no less than actual pomp and show during festivals.


  • Temple festivals

Temples of Pondicherry have their own festivals, celebrated in tribute to the Temple God.One of them is the Vellavari Fire walking festival. Yes, you heard us right. Participants observe fast for 40 days and on the main night of the festival, after a purificatory bath, they walk barefoot through a stretch of fire. Witnesses claim that you can hardly see any burns after the walk, attributed to the participant's deep faith and devotion. Sedal is another festival testing devotees faith, where in they pierce small hooks and spears in their tongue and cheeks to ensure that the vows and prayers are fulfilled by the Almighty. You might come across people with as many as 100 piercings on their body and face. It may seem as a form of self torture, but really, for the devotees it is just another way to show their piety, dedication and affection to Lord.

Then there is the Skanda Shashti festival celebrated by the people of Muthialpet, living around the Sri Sundara Vinayakar Subramanya Swamy Siddhivinayaka Temple. Similar to Diwali in origin and nature, on this day people wear new clothes and burst firecrackers. The story goes that Lord Muruga waged a 6 day battle with demon Soorapadam and finally managed to kill him. You will witness enactments of this myth throughout the town by theatre groups during the festival.

The Masi Makam or Masi Magam festival is an important festival for Tamils and is celebrated with great deal of revere here in Pondicherry too.


  • Ashram festivals

The birth and the death anniversaries of Sri Aurobindo and Mother are dates of great significance in Pondicherry and the Ashram celebrates it by opening the Ashram to the visitors and outsiders. You can pay tribute to Sri Aurobindo and Mother at their samadhis.


As you must have guessed Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving are important affairs here and carolers in churches can heard belting out beautiful and sonorous hymns with great and absolute devotion.

Then there is the French food festival, Gourmet, celebrated in August, which is an absolute must for food buffs and connoisseurs. In addition to French cuisine you will have before you Hungarian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish and Indian cuisines to sample from. And if this is not enough you have Pongal, Vishu, Onam and Sri Krishna Jayanti being celebrated in addition to the above and many more.

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