Chamayavilakku : Men Impressed Internet With Their Women – Like Makeover !!

Written by Surithi J Published on Mar 28, 2023 | 19:00 PM IST | 561

women

Chamayavilakku festival held annually at the Kottankulangara Sree Devi Temple in Kerala’s Kollam district is a unique event that is probably the only one of its kind in the world. Men dress up in traditional women’s clothing and offer prayers to the presiding deity, Goddess Durga, also known as Vanadurga.

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Kerala Devi Temple

The two-day festival, which began on Thursday and concluded on Friday night with traditional rituals and prayers, was held for the first time in two years with public participation, as the previous years’ events had been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. While the number of participants was lower compared to pre-COVID times, hundreds of men from various age groups attended the festival dressed up as women.

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Makeup Artist

In pre-COVID times, the festival would see as many as 3000-4000 participants, all dressed up in half-saris, kasavu saris, and churidars, along with traditional jewelry. Often, family members themselves or make-up artists at the temple premises would help the men with their makeup and costumes. During the procession and when they offer prayers, the men carry a chamayavilakku, a lamp lit up with five wicks.

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The men who participate in the festival believe that offering prayers while dressed up as women will bring them blessings in the form of jobs, wealth, and other benefits. The origin of the festival dates back to a local folklore about cowherd boys who tried to break a coconut by hitting it on a stone they found in the woods, only to discover drops of blood dripping from the stone. The villagers consulted astrologers who said that the stone possessed supernatural powers of Vanadurga and that Poojas must be started immediately after constructing a temple.

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Boys

The locals then built a temple where the stone was found using poles, leaves, and tender leaves of coconut palm. However, since only young girls were allowed to prepare flower garlands and light lamps in small and familiar places of worship, the cow herders began to dress as women and girls to offer prayers in the temple. This is how the tradition of men and boys dressing up as women and girls began, and Chamayavilakku is now also a festival of transpersons, with several community members turning up for it.

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Man with Makeup

The Chamayavilakku festival is not only a unique event but also an example of how traditional cultural practices continue to thrive in contemporary times. The festival also highlights the acceptance of different gender identities and the breaking down of societal norms and stereotypes. The fact that the festival has continued for so many years is a testament to the resilience of cultural traditions and the people who uphold them.

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Moreover, the Chamayavilakku festival is an example of how spirituality and religion can transcend gender barriers and unite people from diverse backgrounds. The festival is a celebration of the divine feminine, with participants offering prayers to the powerful goddess Durga, who is also a symbol of strength and empowerment. Through their dress and prayers, the men participating in the festival not only seek blessings but also show their reverence towards the divine feminine and their willingness to break gender norms in the service of spirituality.

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Contestant Winner

The festival being referred to involves men dressing up in women’s clothing and is celebrated in a certain culture or region. The picture shown depicts the winner of the first prize in a makeup contest that is presumably part of this festival. This man has likely put a lot of effort and skill into his makeup look, as he was deemed the best out of all the participants.

Watch video here :

The Chamayavilakku festival is a unique and fascinating event that showcases the rich cultural traditions of Kerala and highlights the acceptance of different gender identities. It is a testament to the resilience of cultural practices and the power of spirituality to transcend societal norms and barriers. The festival is not only a celebration of the divine feminine but also a reminder of the importance of breaking down gender stereotypes and accepting people for who they are.

Watch video :

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