Koovagam / கூவாகம்
Koovagam, Villupuram Dist, Tamil Nadu
It is a strange festival that can’t be seen any were else and this is only festival for transgender in India.
Transgenders from across the country throng a temple for the three-day Koovagam Festival.
The Koothandavar Temple that draws about 70,000 transgenders and cross dressers from the country and the world- every year is a celebration of the Chitrai Festival. Two elderly male couples tie the knot, symbolising the warrior king Aravan's wedding to Krishna in his Mohini Avatar.
According to Hindu myth, Aravan was a brave, but virginal prince, who agreed to be sacrificed in war to salvage his family's honour.
His only request, before going into battle, was that he experience one night of marital bliss. His brothers searched everywhere, but could not find a woman who would readily accept widowhood.
Finally, Lord Krishna assuming the form of a woman, helped Aravan consummate his desires.
To mark the event, transsexuals come dressed as brides to marry the warrior deity.
On the same day, after getting married they cut their 'mangalayam' to become widows.
Then they cry and beat their chests, to mourn their widowhood.
After this, they bathe in a water tank and drape themselves in white saris and vow that they would return the following year to make the same sacrifice.