Thursday, September 30, 2010
Every year, the annual feast of Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam is celebrated between 27th July to 5th August in a colourful and jubilant atmosphere. This ten days feast is very popular in this area. Thousands of people converged on the grounds of the Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam church during the feast.
The feast commences with flag hoisting ceremony on 27th July, evening. A flag with Our Lady of Snows image is hoisted in a flag post situated just opposite to the church. This is followed by Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany, Sermon and Benediction. During the feast days morning two special masses and evening Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany, Sermon and Benediction are conducted.
On 7th day of the feast, morning a holy mass is conducted on the Apparition Hill in commemoration of Mary's apparition on the hill.
On 8th day of the feast a grand mass is conducted in the morning by Bishop. In that mass children take Holy Communion for the first time. In the evening Eucharistic procession and solemn festive vesper and benediction is conducted.
On 9th day of the feast, evening a grand vespers is conducted by Bishop. After that around 12.00 am a midnight mass is conducted. That is followed by an illuminated chariot procession. Three massive chariots participate in the procession. Our Lady of Snow's statue is placed in the main chariot and taken through the village streets by the devotees in a colourful procession singing hymns and reciting prayers. Thousands of people participate in this procession and pray to Our Lady of Snows. It lasts for six hours.
On 10th day of the feast morning 6.00 am the chariot procession comes to an end and the chariots are parked near the church for worship. The feast will culminate with solemn festive High Mass celebration.
During the feast tens of thousands from all faiths visit the shrine. They pray to Our Lady of Snows for thanks giving or requesting of favors. The entire area is decorated with festoons and colorful lights. The shrine looks more spectacular due to the decorations and assembly of people from all walks of life. Silver plates, shaped like human parts are sold in the church stall. The sick and suffering, choose one that corresponds to their ailment and donate it to Our Lady of Snows with the pious hope that Our Lady of Snows will cure their ailment.
Various sports events, cutural programs and entertainment programs are organised as part of the feast.