Today is Vijayadashami; Children write first letters amid COVID restrictions
With prayers and precautions, Keralites are celebrating Vijayadashami day on Monday. The little children are first introduced to the world of letters on this auspicious day. Considering the COVID crisis, the ritual is performed within households this year. Though simple ceremonies are held in temples, strict restrictions are imposed to ensure safety.
Compared to previous years, the restrictions are made stricter in Panachikkad Dakshina Mookambi Temple this year. Pre-booking facility has been arranged to avoid crowd. The devotees should check the temperature and sanitize themselves before entering the temple.
In order to maintain social distancing, the parents themselves should make the children sit on their laps and make them write 'Harishree' (first letters). First, they have to write on the child's tongue using gold and then make them write on rice using finger.
The parents should bring the gold ring and other items required for the ritual will be supplied from the temple. Only a few priests will be present in the temple to instruct the parents. Merchants are not allowed on the temple premises and no audience is allowed in the stage of the temple.
Thunchan Parambu in Tirur used to witness most number of Vidyarambham rituals every year. But this time, all ceremonies relating to the same was avoided. However, people can pray and get the books blessed at the Kalari here.
In Kollur Mookambika temple, the Vidyarambham ceremonies started on Sunday morning at 4 am. A total of 1600 children wrote their first letters at the temple last year, but only 80 children could come this time due to the pandemic restrictions.