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Traditional Transgender mass Marriage @ Koovagam - J...

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  • 7 years ago
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Traditional Transgender mass Marriage @ Koovagam - Joy,Fun & Sorrow - RedPix24x7

Hundreds of transgender people from various parts of the country and abroad have started congregating in Koovagam village in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu to participate in the annual Koothandavar temple festival.

Transgender people regard Koothandavar, the principal deity of the temple, as their husband and worship him. Koothandavar is a common name given to Aravan, son of Pandava prince Arjuna. They hold the festival at the temple every year to commemorate the sacrifice of Aravan.

The festival, which began on April 29, lasts for 16 days symbolizing the war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The festival, which will conclude on May 14, will feature beauty pageants for the transgender people hosted by different non-government organizations with the support of the Tamil Nadu government.

On the penultimate day, transgender people will follow all elements of the centuries old ritual to get their thalis (magalsutra) tied by the temple priests declaring Aravan as their husband. The wedding will be followed by wild celebrations until dawn.

The presiding deity of the temple will be taken in a procession on the last day of the festival. The festival will conclude
with the breaking of the thalis and bangles as the transgender people mourn the death of Aravan.

Legends has it that the Pandavas decided to sacrifice Aravan to ensure their victory against the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war. Aravan accepted the decision of the elders and expressed his last desire; i.e., to marry. However, no woman came forward to marry him as he will be sacrificed the next day. Legend says Lord Krishna transformed himself into a woman and married Aravan.

The next day, Pandavas sacrificed Aravan


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