Friday, November 21, 2008

Festival Friday

I'm pulling a random festival out of my
archives, wait as I blindfold myself, spin
around three times and rest my finger on...

At the full moon of Karttika (December),
at the end of the rainy season, Jain monks
and nuns abandon their retreats and resume
their wandering life. Before they leave, they
are thanked by their hosts for their company
and religious instructions. The occasion is a
lively one and the people celebrate it with
a Car Festival. A lavishly decorated wooden
vehicle, bearing the image of the Jina, is
pulled by hand through the streets, in the
manner of the Jagannath, accompanied by
a procession of monks and nuns and the
populace. A sermon is delivered in the park
at the end of the journey and an appeal is
made for gifts to support the temples,
hospitals, etc. The procession then returns
to the temple and merry-making follows.

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