Famous Chitra Festival is on at Madurai from today.Madurai in Tamilnadu is a temple city and famous Meenakshi Amman Temple is situated here among other so many temples in and around the city.
During the month of April of every year (Tamil month is Chitrai), in Madurai, the festival of Meenakshi Marriage is celebrated in a grand manner. Goddess Meenakshi was a ruler of Madurai and even now She is ruling Madurai with Her protecting eyes. Meenakshi means Meen + Akshi which means having eyes as of a Fish. Normally it is told that the fish takes care of its children over its eyes. Accordingly, Goddess Meenakshi takes care of Her Children, that is we, through her eyes.
Initially on acquiring the seat of Kingdom of Madurai as Princess, Goddess Meenakshi did Digvijay and conquered many places and finally, she could not win Lord Shiva as she intended to capture Kailash.
Every year in Madurai, this Chitra Festival is celebrated for nearly 13 days started from the Meenakshi's Pattabishekam, Digvijayam, Marriage, Car festival. Every day the whole city is decorated as if there is a marriage in their own house. Many free offering of food, buttermilk, hand fans(palm/thick paper) is being done by the local people to the general public. On the day of Meenakshi Kalyanam, the temple authorities feed the marriage feast to nearly 20000 people.
Today is the first day of the festival. The Goddess Meenakshi visits the four main streets on Simha vahana. The purpose of Simha Vahana today is to remind us to control our mind (ego) from the thought as if we got everything. Lord Sundareswara is coming on Karpakavruksha which denotes that the Lord is a base and protect all 84 lakhs of lives in the universe as Karpakavruksha is giving whatever we need.