Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of tiny tots were initiated into world of letters as part of ‘Vidyarambham’ rituals on Vijayadasami day marking the end of the annual nine-day long Navaratri festival in Kerala on Wednesday.
‘Vidyarambham’ rituals, the age-old tradition of initiating children into the world of knowledge, are being held at temples and other major institutions including major dailies.
Panachikkad temple at Kottayam, Thunjan Parambu at Tirur in Malappuram, the birth place of father of Malayalam language Thunchath Ezhuthachan, Thunchan Smaraka Samithi at Iranikuttam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollur Mookambika temple in Karnataka were among the most popular locations where kids were initiated into the world of letters.
Navaratri Mandapam at Poojappura, Aattukal Devi Temple, Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kariikakam Devi Temple, Alakkavu Devi Temple, Kodungallur Devi Temple, Chottanikkara Devi Temple, Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple, Malliyoor Ganapathi Temple, Madhur Sree Madanantheshwara-Siddhivinayaka Temple in Kasaragod, Sharkara Temple, Pandalam Navaratri Mandapam, Pazhavangadi Ganapathy have witnessed the heavy rush of devotees during the occasion.
Special pujas were performed at various places of worship as well as Navaratri ‘Mandapams,’ schools and cultural centres.
Opposition leader VD Satheesan, former chief minister Oommen Chandy and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, cultural leaders and others have initiated hundreds of tiny tots into the world of letters today.
As part of initiation ceremony, the letters ‘Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah Avighnamastu’ are written on the tongue of the child and all the alphabets are written with a piece of gold.
The child is also made to write the same letters with its ring finger on raw rice in a metal vessel and the child is made to utter each word when it is written.
Many newspaper offices, including Mathrubhumi, Malayala Manorama, Kerala Kaumudi and Janmabhoomi also organised Vidyarambam functions.
Meanwhile, Vijayadashami marking the triumph of good over evil was celebrated with religious fervour in the State. Navarathri is the festival of India but the Keralitis celebrating the last three days of the nine day Navarathi festival as Durgashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadasami.
On Vijayadasami day most of the temples in Kerala organised Vidyarambham for kids. The devotees believed that if he or she starts writing the first letter this day they could expect better education in their life. Children, along with their parents, thronged in large numbers at temples dedicated to goddess Saraswathi, the deity of learning, on this auspicious day.
Books are placed in the pooja rooms (worship rooms) of houses and temples for worship on the Ashtami day. On Vijayadashami day, the books are taken out ceremoniously for reading after the worship of Goddess Saraswati.
In Kerala, this day is called “Vidyarambham.” Ayudha Pooja (worship of implements) is also practiced in Kerala. On the Navami day the implements are worshipped along with the images of goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.