Aravan – the legendary son of Arjuna and Ulupl, the Naga Princess, was to be sacrificed in the 18-day of Kurukshetra war in order to ensure the victory of the Pandavas. Aravan requested Krishna that he to be married before he is sacrificed. However, Krishna was unable to find a bride for him. Therefore he transformed himself into a woman and married Aravan. The Ritual enactment of these episodes forms the central theme of the 18-day annual festival in the temple of Aravan situated in Koovagam village, Tamil Nadu. All the core rituals are performed on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Chithirai (mid – April to mid – May). The important feature of this festival is the massive participation of transgender communities in the rituals who look upon themselves as brides of Aravan.
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