Dharmapuri: In Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, Sunday marked Aadi Amavasai celebrations. As per the Tamil calendar, Aadi Amavasai signifies the new moon day in the month of Aadi, which is considered an auspicious day.
While it is customary to have a dip in waterbodies on this ‘new moon day,’ a Tamil Nadu priest celebrated Aadi Amavasai in a very unusual way – he bathed in water that contained 108 kilos of chilli powder.
The incident occurred in a temple in Nadapanahalli village in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district. In Nadapanahalli, massive celebrations are held on the occasion of Aadi Amavasai to honor the deity of the village – Periya Karuppasamy. As usual, this year was no different.
The villagers paid homage to the deity by bathing him in milk and chilli powder. The deity was also offered cigars and liquor. After that, as per tradition, the temple priest – Govindhan – observed several rituals, such as standing on two sickles and listening to devotees’ problems. The priest then underwent a ‘chilli yagna’, where 108 kilos of chilli powder and water were poured over him. Devotees are said to be protected by such practice against evil spirits and bad luck.
Due to the whiff of chilli powder and water, devotees found it extremely difficult to breathe around the spot where the ritual was being conducted. Although the priest remained calm throughout the ritual, the villagers later poured buckets of water on him in order to rid him of the chilli powder.