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Sivarathri celebrated in Aluva, a place in Ernakulam district of Kerala, south India is called the Aluva Sivarathri festival. The celebration of Sivarathri in Aluva is very famous in Kerala. The month of Kumbham is noted for the Sivarathri festival which falls in February – March. Aluva Sivarathri is celebrated at the Siva temple on the banks of Periyar River and this place is called the Aluva Manal Puram (land with sand). Pilgrims offer Bali (sacrifice) to their ancestors in the morning succeeding the holy night.Near the bank of periyar, Aluva Manal Puram, there will be a lots of stalls installed for people for purchasing, shopping, exhibitions, adventure rides for children and adults and lot more. It will remain for two weeks after the offerings of Bali (sacrifice).
The offering of special pooja and abhishekhams, and the presentation of cultural programmes in all the Shiva temples celebrate the day. The devout devotees fast rigorously all day long, intone the holy Panchakshara mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” and sing hymns in praise of the Lord Shiva. It is believed that one who devotedly chants the sacred name of Shiva during Shivratri with proper devotion is liberated from all sins and consequently from the repetitive cycle of birth and death. They offer flowers and incense to the God and the sound of incessant ringing of temple bells fills the place. They maintain long vigils during the night, keeping awake to listen to stories, hymns and songs. The fast is broken only the next morning, after the nightlong worship.Â MahaShivratri is also the prime attraction of the female folk. The married women pray for the happiness and health of their husbands and sons and the unmarried women pray for acquiring husband like Shiva, the ideal husband of Goddess Parvati. Sivarathri is celebrated with great pomp at the Siva Temple at Aluva on the sand bank of the River Periyar. Here, the Lingom (idol) of Siva that emerges out of the sand on the river bank.
The sand bank is extensive and the pilgrims running into several thousands congregate here. People belonging to all classes, castes and creeds assemble for this festival, some for worship, some for merchandise and some for sightseeing.There are rows of sheds built where merchants exhibit every kind of merchandise for sale. There are shows, dances etc. meant for keeping the pilgrims awake throughout the night. In addition to the observance of MahaShivratri rites, most of the pilgrims offer Bali (sacrifice) to their ancestors in the morning succeeding the holy night.