Chithirai festival is a popular festival celebrated annually during the month of April in the city of Madurai. Madurai Chithirai is celebrated during the Tamil month of the same name. The two-week-long festival Madurai Chithrai Festival is considered one of the biggest celebrations in Madurai City. It marks the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi and also her marriage with Lord Sundareswara.
Madurai Chithirai festival 2020 will begin on the fifth day of the bright half of the Tamil month Chithirai which is tomorrow on April 25. Madurai Chithrai festival 2020 last till May 10. However, this year due to coronavirus lockdown, people will not be allowed to form a social gathering to celebrate Madurai Chithitrai festival 2020. Every year the parade takes place in the streets around the Meenakshi Temple.
As the festival appears during summer Madurai people make special drinks to beat the heat. Madurai Chithirai festival 2020 will witness Madurai people making buttermilk and Panagam at their home because of the lockdown. Every year, there are Neer Mor Pandals prepared at every corner of the city with serves buttermilk and Pangama which is a refreshing drink made by tamarind extract and jaggery.
When people become tired roaming at the streets they go to these pandals to re-energise themselves. However, Madurai Chithirai festival 2020 will not see huge pandals outside this time as it has been cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis.
Every year, Madurai Chithirai generally begins with a flag hoisting ceremony on the first day. But the most important celebrations occur towards the end of the festival. After the celestial wedding of Lord Sundarawara and Goddess Meenakshi, the location of the festival shifts to Kallazhagar Temple which is located at Alagar Hills near Madurai.
According to religious belief, Lord Kallazhagar travelled on a golden horse to attend the celestial wedding of sister Meenakshi. However, the Lord gets delayed and misses the wedding. After the wedding, Meenakshi and Lord Shiva come to the Vaigai River, where they try to pacify him. However, in fury, the lord gets in the river to give them gifts and the returns home without visiting Madurai. One of the biggest spectacles of Madurai Chithirai is the moment when Lord Kallazhagar enters the river.