A festival which made largest women gathering
The land of India has a number of various festivals. The Attukal Pongala, is the famous and reputed festival celebrated at the Attukal Bhagavati temple in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala. In Kerala, festivals are decided based on the Malyalam calendar taking into consideration local traditions and customs. Sometimes these dates may even change as they need the confirmation from the local authorities and this is the festival which entered in to the Guinness records as the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity.
This particular festival is celebrated only by women and women irrespective to the religious faith. The celebration of the festival starts with assembling of females at the temple the night before the festival day to make the pongala offering to god. They occupy the space on either side of the roads before the temple. Women devotees from across the country participate in the pongala ritual. A lot of pongala is offered to the god on this day by all females gathered at the temple since night and in the day time at the time of prasadam the number of devotees is so high that cannot accommodate in the temple also.
Pongala which means to boil, is a special kind of sweet dish containing rice porridge, coconut gratings, nuts and raisins. The dish is offered to the deity of the temple Goddess Attuakalamma. It is ten day festival celebrated only in Kerala and the ninth day of the festival is major among all the days which is the most awaited by all the women. After offering of the Pongala to god, a part of is distributed among devotees at temple while another part is carried to home to avail the prasadam to the family members.