Submitted by A. Nagarajan
This practice is being done in southern Tamil Nadu. I am not sure of northern districts.
This festival is conducted for the goddesses of homelands, generally in summer. Grains of mochai, rice and thattai are sprouted on natural fertilizer and cow dung in earthen pots. The seed grains are got from the specific vendor who specially makes stall for this occasion. This is grown in darkness (with only vegetable oil lamp) for seven days with strict observance of fasting by ladies (with only fruits & juices) celibacy and cleanliness.
On 7th day the sprouts (which are about 2 feet tall and yellow in color) are removed from the pot and placed in bamboo baskets and beautified with flowers and sandal. It is then taken to the temple with honor (with playing travel & Indian flute), and then immersed in a river or pond. (See photo of pilgrims here.)
Though the some of the customs are symbolic and based on beliefs or out dated for present days, and there is no scientific explanation for mulaipari, though the festival is significant.
The mulaipari when growing, if electrical lamps are used, it will become greenish due to photosynthesis.
It is important to note that visitors and house members must remove their chappals (footwear) at the main entrance of the house or even housing complex to maintain cleanliness. Though these rules are relaxed these days, but still followed in many.
It is believed, the mulaipari will be taller for those who observe the rules stricter.
Any explanations are welcome. Thanks for reading.
**Notes: According to the site Life is 2 Live (Photo borrowed), Mulaipari is also related to Varalakshi Vratham as a commencement to Adi (initiation of growing season).
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