We are all aware of India’s variety, with practically every state having its own unique cultural traditions and holidays. While learning about the rituals’ immense diversity and understanding them is fascinating, certain of the country’s traditions could strike some people as odd. Today, we’ll focus on one of them. That is, Aadi Perukku.
Tamil Nadu is a state with a diverse culture that deeply values its old traditions. With the Aadi Perukku festival, Tamil Nadu celebrates the life-giving and sustaining qualities of water each monsoon. In order for every Tamilian family to gain heavenly blessings for their wellbeing, peace, and wealth, this event incorporates nature worship. The traditional act of cracking coconuts on a devotee’s head is the one that causes the most controversy.
In the southern regions of India, it has long been customary to break coconuts on people’s heads. Because of their strong superstition, which is now an obsession, they are continuing to engage in this act that is there since the colonial era despite warnings.
A ritual or an obsession?
On this day, thousands of people wait in line outside the Mahalakshmi Temple in Karur, Tamil Nadu, to get blessings. Here, it is important to note that a worshipper’s decision to participate in the ritual is their own. Hindu believers will assemble inside the temple, and the priest will crack a coconut on each person’s head one by one as a sign to the gods that they are requesting success and good health.
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In fact, this practice results in head traumas for certain people. Many adherents forgo medical care out of respect for the deity or out of concern for the deity’s wrath, while some rush to the doctor’s office for first aid care that may involve a few stitches.
187 stones the size of coconuts were taken from the surrounding river and used in the construction of the temple. According to reports, the British stipulated that the temple wouldn’t be destroyed. The locals could smash the stones with their skulls, which they successfully did. From then, this temple is a place where coconuts are hit on the head.
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