Devotees Line up to Smash Coconuts in their Heads in Tamil Nadu

Aadi is a two-day ritual that is celebrated every year by ‘kudipaadu’.

Boy, isn’t religion something? It can get you on your knees in no time and sometimes your head too. Who are we kidding? It gets to your head all the time.

Speaking of religion getting to your head, there is an annual festival, one of many celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state where people line up to have their heads smashed, literally.

Aadi festival is an annual ritual celebrated at the Sri Mahalakshmi Amman Temple at Mettumahadanapuram in Karur district of Tamil Nadu, the southern part of India.

Aadi is a two-day ritual that is celebrated every year by ‘kudipaadu’ including the Kurumba community and parts of the 24 Manai Telegu Chettiar community.

How is Aadi Festival Celebrated?

The Aadi festival begins as the Amman, the processional deity returns to the temple after being taken for a ritualistic bath the previous night at the River Cauvery following ‘thiruveedhi ula’.

After this, a traditional lamp is lit on top of the temple’s flag.

aadi festival tamil nadu

And the chief priest, A. Periasamy performs ‘abishekam’ with sanctified water from the River Cauvery.

After the whole ritual, the festival proceeds to the main part, i.e. the breaking of coconuts or let’s just say smashing of the skulls begins.

First, the chief priest breaks the coconuts on the heads of seven elders from the main communities participating.

Men, women, and even children line up to have coconuts smashed in their heads in the name of religion.

aadi festival tamil nadu

The priest then goes around breaking the coconut into pieces in the heads of the devotees who believe that doing so would bring good luck and success in their lives.

The tradition is believed to have started around the 19th century and if the coconut breaks in your head, the energy is dissolute, but if it doesn’t, you’ll damage your skull in a serious kind of way.

In the name of ritual and religion, hundreds of people participate in Aadi festival hoping and praying to gods for good health and immense success.

The Consequences.

Doing this, some may get a peace of mind after having a hard, almost rock-like fruit smashed in their heads.

tamil nadu rituals

While for some, the end result is terrifying as they end up bruised and seriously injured, bleeding from their heads and in desperate need of medical assistance.

Yet, they don’t learn their lesson because everything is fair in the name of religion, am I right?

But the good thing is they have medical assistance on the standby who would in no time take care of the injured ones if, god forbid, anything serious happens.

tamil nadu rituals

Despite numerous fair warnings from the doctors as well as the government, it seems like nothing has changed. Neither the practice of smashing hard coconuts on the heads of devotees nor the minds of people who can easily get themselves killed or have a fractured skull at the least.

Watch the video below.


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