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Hand fan users in Madurai want authorities to let them take part in the Chithirai celebrations

Plans are in motion for the last few days of the celebrations, which are taking place in Madurai as part of the Chithirai festival. In the meanwhile, a petition asking for permission to enter the river was sent in to the authorities on Tuesday by those who use “hand fans” to provide people with a break during the event.

On April 21, 22, and 23, respectively, there will be significant events including the heavenly wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwarar, the temple vehicle festival, and the procession and entrance of Lord Kallalagar into the Vaigai River.

To examine the festival plans, authorities convened a special review meeting with District Collector MS Sangeetha. In order to prevent upsetting the thousands of devotees, the collector also instructed authorities to erect strong security measures close to the Madurai Meenakshi Temple and the Vaigai River in addition to providing basic facilities.

Participant in the customary “hand fan” service Karthi Mayakrishnan said, “We petitioned last year to be allowed to take part in the festivities, but we were denied.” In Madurai, there are around fifteen families that have been offering pilgrims some respite from the heat for centuries by serving as their “hand fans.” Our admission was prohibited since the Meenakshi temple had air conditioning.

“We have a significant role in the celebration and procession. All we can do, however, is hope that we’ll be permitted to go to the event. We’re waiting for the authorities to acknowledge our contributions,” Mayakrishnan said.

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