The month long Ekadasi celebrations have begun at the Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor. The celebrations started with the ceremonial lighting of Ekadasi Vilakku on November 10, 2016. This year Guruvayoor Ekadasi will be celebrated on December 10.
Ekadasi Vilakku will be lit on all 30 days of the celebrations. Various institutions, departments and individuals offer Ekadasi Vilakku to Guruvayoorappan. On November 11, the Vilakku was offered by the Police Department of Kerala and police officials from across the state visited the temple to obtain the darshan of the deity.
Various cultural programs are also organized during the Ekadasi celebrations. They are held at the Melpathur auditorium from 6 am. The Chembai Music Festival that sees that participation of celebrated musicians from across the country is a major attraction of Ekadasi celebrations. It will commence on November 25 and conclude on Ekadasi (December 10, 2016).
When is Guruvayoor Ekadasi?
The Ekadasi which falls in the bright fortnight of the Malayalam month Vrishchikam (mid-November – mid-December) is celebrated as Guruvayoor Ekadasi. Ekadasi is the 11th day of the lunar fortnight. It is the day after Dasami. There are two Ekadasis in each month and 24 Ekadasis in a year. Fasting on this day is thought to be the easiest way to win the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Of all the Ekadasis in a year, Vrishchika Ekadasi which falls in the bright fortnight of Vrishchikam has special importance for the devotees of Guruvayoorappan. The two days before Ekadasi – Navami and Dasami – are also very important. Guruvayoor sees a dramatic increase in the number of devotees during these days and the temple remains open from Dasami (December 9) to Dwadasi (December 11). The temple opens at 3 am on Dasami for Nirmalya darshan (the devotees will see the deity as wearing the flowers of the previous day). It remains open throughout Dasami and Ekadashi and is closed on Dwadasi at 9 am. On Dwadasi there is the custom of offering a token amount (Dwadasi panam) to devotees. This is offered at Koothambalam (temple theatre).