Festival at Murugan Temple of North America

Saturday is the main festival event. About one thousand devotees attend many of whom drive down from New York/New Jersey. It began around 9:30 with a procession around the temple with about ten of the men carrying kavadi with a spear through the checks and hundreds carrying milk. Lots of dancing by the kavadi carriers. Next was an elaborate Murugan Abhishekam in which the milk everyone carried was offered. When the curtain closed Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave his talk which had a Tamil transaltion. After yopam pushpam there was elaborate Veda chanting, Devaram singing and nathaswaram and thavil playing before the final arati. Interesting to note that the from the current opening for the alankara to the end of the abhishekam the electric lights in the sanctum are turned off and light is provided by five oil lamps--the same as Iraivan will be.

Next the parade deity was taken out and installed on top of the chariot. It is pulled around the temple with two large ropes. There were eight tables at which the chariot stopped and a short archana was done. The first six were for the six Murugan pilgrimage temples, seventh was for Batu Caves and eighth (with a new large poster we sent them) was for Iraivan. The chariot stops and each temple gives an offering tray. Archana is done and most of the tray's contents returned. Manyof the devotees do kadadi dances while the chariot is stopped.

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