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Hinduism: Bhagavat Gita|
Makaravilakku is a festival held on January
14 of every year in Kerala, India at the shrine of Sabarimala.An estimated
half a million devotees flow to Sabarimala every year to have a darshan
(vision) of this ritual.
The Makara Jyothi marks the climax of the
Makaravilakku season of Sabarimala pilgrimage lasting 41 days.
Makarajyoti is a celestial star which is worshipped by the pilgrims. The main
worshipping rituals are performed at the day of Makara Sankaranthi (every 14
January) day. The devotees believe that witnessing the light brings them good
luck and divine blessings.
Almost all roof-tops and the entire Sannidhanam will be packed with devotees
with the lone mantra `Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.'
There is no caste or creed in Sabarimala and all are equal at the holy hillock,
making it the only one of its kind.
Shedding their egos, pilgrims are found lying on the wayside, footpath and wait
in the long-winding queues for hours together, braving the hot sun and the
chilling cold, for the holy darshan.
Away from the modern luxuries, they camp in the forests for days together to
witness the Makarajyothi.
The Ayyappa idol will be decorated with the Thiruvabharanam, sacred ornaments,
brought from the Pandalam Palace in a ceremonial procession, prior to the
deeparadhana at the temple.
There will be silence at the holy hillock for a few minutes and first appear the
bright star, Makarajyoti, followed by the flickering of a bright flame twice or
thrice on the eastern horizon, raising the multitude of pilgrims to a state of
The Makarajyoti appears on the eastern horizon as soon as the deeparadhana at
the Ayyapa Temple takes place