Sri Vithappa Fair is a popular religious fair held every year on the 14th or 15th day of the month of Ashwin, as per the traditional Hindu calendar, which according to the Gregorian calendar, falls either in the month of September or October. It is a festival in the village of Vithappa, which is located in the south Indian state of Karnataka. As the name suggests, the fair and festivities are held in honour of the Vithappa deity, whom the people of this village worship. It is a three days long fair, and has prominent folk and religious significance. The first time this festival was held was over 200 years back and ever since then, every year in is religiously observed in the month of September or October. Over 7,000-8,000 gather together from adjoining areas to be a part of the Sri Vithappa Fair.
The celebrations for the fair happen in a grand way as a long procession takes place, wherein the devotees carry the holy deity Vithappa’s idol in a palanquin. Around 60 parties of drummers come from various parts of the state of Karnataka to play their music during this holy procession of the Sri Vithappa Fair. There is another trend that is followed during this fair, which includes the sacrifice of a sheep in front of the deity, after which the priest of the temple sells it, and the amount that is gathered from it, is then added to the temple funds.
Many other beliefs are also associated with the observance of the Vithappa Fair, one of which is turning milk into curd before offering it in front of the deity, as this is considered to be a very good omen. Another belief is that during the fair grains are to be collected from the bag that is kept in the temple from a person belong to Chunchanoor Village, since it is believed that if these grains are sowed into the fields, it will result in successful and rich yield during that year.
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