Every year Makaravilakku is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm across Kerala. A popular festival that falls on Makar Sankranti, Makaravilakku 2021 is on January 14. It is mainly celebrated at the shrine of Sabarimala, and people from across the world travel to Sabarimala after observing a stringent fast. There are various processions of Lord Ayyappa that are taken in various temples, in the days leading up to the Makaravilakku festival. The Makara Jyothi, also known as the Sirius star, is said to appear in the sky on this day. Makaravailakku celebration is usually one of the more grand celebrations at the Sabarimala temple. However, Makaravilakku 2021 is sure to be a quaint and small-scale affair. Here’s everything you need to know about Makaravilakku celebrations this year, the significance of Makaravilakku, rules around Makaravilakku 2021, live procession telecast time, and more.

When is Makaravilakku Celebrated?

Makaravilakku festival is celebrated on Makar Sankranti every year. People perform grand aarti to Lord Aiyappa and thousands of devotees from across the world travel to the Sabarimala to offer their prayers to the almighty.

The Myth of Makara Jyothi

Every year, after the Makarvilakku aarti, is held in the Sabarimala temple. Shortly after this, the Sirius star appears in the sky and is often accompanied by a small flicker of light for some time. This light was believed to be the blessing of Lord Aiyappa as a result of all the devotees who religiously prayed to God, and followed the stringent fast. This light can be on the mountain near Sabarimala temple.

However, in reality, the mountain was once home to the Malayaraya tribe who reside near the forest of Ponnambalamedu, who perform aartis and Puja similar to that carried out at the Sabarimala temple. The lit camphor from the aarti they conduct is what we can see from Sabarimala as the holy light. It is said that there is a small temple in Ponnambalamedu which is protected by the forest department and is not open for the public. Now, every year, either member of the tribes living nearby or people of the Travancore Devaswom Board perform the aarti here.

Makaravilakku Live Telecast:

The procession carrying Thiruvabharanam, the sacred ornaments for the idol of Lord Ayyappa during the Makaravilakku ceremony has set off from the Pandalam Valiyakoickal Sree Dharma Sastha temple. The whole event dedicated to Lord Aiyappa will be live streamed from Sabiramala Temple in Kerala. Devotees can witness this glorious moment by catching the Live coverage as well as recorded videos of the event.

The celebration of Makaravilakku will be smaller this year as the temple revealed that they would only allow 5000 pilgrims this year, as opposed to the thousands that usually flood Sabarimala around this time.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2021 08:57 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).