Madurai’s Azhagar heads to the Vaigai once every year for the ceremonial dip, an event that marks the culmination of the city’s most famous Chithirai Tiruvizha (April Festival). Exuberantly decked, onward he marches on his golden horse while thousands throng the streets to witness this spectacle.
In a video from few days ago that has now gone viral, the palanquin carrying Azhagar’s idol can be seen retreating briefly even as the crowd frantically makes way to widen the narrow path. An ambulance with its siren blaring crawls up slowly with police leading the way. The procession resumes having made sure the ambulance has driven past.
This gesture by those gathered on the day of Madurai’s biggest festival is being appreciated by many on the internet.
Tamilnadu police— Dinnu (@Dinnu2421) April 25, 2019
Woh woh proud of this gesture by Madurai people.— P Rajalakshmi (@rajiandraju) April 25, 2019
vow.. nice.. this is TN we are proud of...— Jayachandran R (@joyfuljai1) April 25, 2019
This is good human behaviour , humanity first and rest is next— Mani Raja (@ManiRaj96313919) April 25, 2019
Madurai’s Chithirai Tiruvizha is an annual month-long festival that is celebrated to mark the coronation of goddess Meenakshi. It is celebrated during the month of April. While the first 15 days are celebrated in Meenakshi temple the next 15 are at the Kallazhagar temple. Legend has it that King Thirumalai Nayakar merged the two festivals, that were celebrated as two different festivals, into one mainly to unite the two groups of people who were individually observing it.
This year, the Chithirai Tiruvizha was made a challenging spectacle with the Lok Sabha elections clashing with the festival.
Video clips of crowds making way for the ambulance to pass has always endeared people on the internet. When the Jallikattu protests happened in Chennai in January 2017, the crowd was appreciated for its general good behaviour of letting ambulances ride past by forming a human chain in addition to regulating traffic and for collecting trash and keeping the protest area clean.
A viral video that surfaced from Kerala last month showed a celebrating crowd making way for an ambulance to pass in just a matter of seconds. The one-minute video which has been shared numerous times on social media was shot during the Mannarkkad Pooram, one of the oldest temple festivals in Kerala which is held in Palakkad every year.