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Our Lady of Snows festival inaugurated in Thoothukudi

One of the most famous festivals of southern districts, the festival of Our Lady of Snows Shrine Basilica, was inaugurated at Thoothukudi, on Wednesday. Thousands of devotees participated in the celebration which would go on for 10 days.

Our Lady of Snows festival inaugurated in Thoothukudi
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Thousands participating in the flag hoisting ceremony of Our Lady of Snows festival at Thoothukudi

Madurai

The 435th year celebration of the festival commenced by flag hoisting ceremony at 9 am on Wednesday. The flag that had the images of Our Lady of Snows, also called Panimaya Madha, was taken in a procession through the important streets around the basilica on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning three prayer sessions were conducted at 5 am, 6 am and at 7.30 am. 

The third special prayer session was presided over by Thoothukudi RC Bishop, Ivan Ambrose, and then it was followed by flag hoisting ceremony. Ivan Ambrose hoisted the flag and then to symbolise peace, doves were flown by him. Then according to tradition, a conch was blown from a boat in Thoothukudi Old Harbour and another special 

prayer session followed flag hoisting ceremony. 

At 12 pm, the ceremony of placing golden throne on Our Lady of Snows was performed. Thousands of devotees along with Thoothukudi MLA, Geeta Jeevan and other officials witnessed the flag hoisting ceremony. 

Throughout the 10 day festival, various events had been planned and on every day special prayers sessions from every church would be conducted. The festival is seen 

as a festival of social harmony as people from all the religions and even from other countries would participate and enjoy it. 

Throughout the festival exhibition would be conducted and various games and events are part of it. The most important part of the festival is the car festival which would be celebrated on August 5. Our Lady of Snows would be taken in a car decorated with golden sheets through the important streets of Thoothukudi.

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