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Thousands of transgenders attend Koovagam Festival in Tamil Nadu

By Samyuktha
Google Oneindia News

Villupuram (Tamil Nadu), Apr 29 (ANI): Scores of transgenders from across the country throng a temple in Villupuram in Tamil Nadu for the three-day Koovagam Festival.

The Festival which ends today and is exclusively meant for transgenders.

The Koothandavar Temple that draws about 70,000 transgenders homosexuals and cross dressers from the country and the world- every year is a celebration of alternative sexuality on the last night of the Chitrai Festival. Two elderly male couples tie the knot, symbolising the warrior king Aravan's wedding to Krishna in his Mohini Avatar.

According to Hindu myth, Aravan was a brave, but virginal prince, who agreed to be sacrificed in war to salvage his family's honour.

His only request, before going into battle, was that he experience one night of marital bliss. His brothers searched everywhere, but could not find a woman who would readily accept widowhood.

Finally, Lord Krishna assuming the form of a woman, helped Aravan consummate his desires.

There's only one festival for transgenders in India.

Participants said they were happy to be a part of the event.

"I am very happy. Because this is once a year, one time we are coming here. We are walking but we are spending here the three days. This is the most important days for me...for us," said Sabhitha, a participant.

A fashion show was also organized as a part of this three-day festival.

Shilpa, who was crowned Miss Koovagam for this year said that more of such events should be organized to encourage the transgenders in India.

"I have taken part in the festival for the first time and luckily I won Miss Koovagam title. This is very significant and important for me and I am very happy and I pray that more of such events should take place so that we get encouragement. I had participated from Salem district and I thank all television channels highlighting us," Shilpa said.

To mark the event, transsexuals come dressed as brides to marry the warrior deity.

On the same day, after getting married they cut their 'mangal sutra' to become widows.

Then they cry and beat their chests, to mourn their widowhood.

After this, they bathe in a water tank and drape themselves in white saris and vow that they would return the following year to make the same sacrifice. (ANI)

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