Tag Archives: Giants

TODAY: The Pagan Pride Parade London 2018 (20th anniversary)

This is the 20th Anniversary of the Pagan Pride Parade London!

Pagan Pride Parade London 2018 -event coverSunday, 13th May 2018.
12 midday – 6pm
Russell Square, London, WC1B 5, United Kingdom
Nearest Tube: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line)

This event is FREE
Join us to celebrate Paganism in all its forms, by marching in the oldest Pagan Pride Parade in the UK.

We will all gather in Russell Square from 12pm, where our team of organisers will be located by the central water fountain. Then, at 1pm we will begin the march of our parade.

With giants, dragons, drummers and dancers, we’ll take over the streets of London and let our Pagan banner fly high. Get dressed up in your finest Pagan attire, perhaps don a mask, bring a drum or another instrument. Whatever you want to show your Pagan spirit.

At the end of the parade, we will all return to Russell Square, where we will continue to make merry, with Morris Dancers, stalls and a picnic.
Pagan Pride Parade London - composite poster - bg.jpg
Please bring your own food for the picnic, or alternatively, you can get lunch in the Russell Square café, located in the park, right next to where we’ll be.

This event is completely free, family friendly and a great day out where you can meet like minded people from all across London and further afield. So, be sure to join us for the 20th Anniversary of the Pagan Pride Parade London.

Pagan_Pride_Parade_-_London-fb_banner

Join our group/ community to stay connected at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PaganPrideParadeLondon/

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/104953780319859/

-Mani, Hildegard, Luth, Phil, Geoff, Rebekah

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Video: Demon War (Sooran Porr)- Hindu festival of Victory

Soora Por (meaning `Demon war) is a annual  Hindu festival..  that takes place in late Autumn, after Diwali (festival of Light). It is the culmination of a highly sacred week of prayers and rituals called the `Kanthashasthy fasting’ dedicated to the warrior god Murugan (also known as Karthikeyan, Velavan and many other names).

Murugan is the son of Shiva & Parvathi, and brother of the elephant headed god Ganesh. Murugan was born by the act of god Shiva opening his third eye and 6 divine sparks shooting out, and settling on 6 lotus flowers in a lake. Each spark then became a small baby and were nursed by sacred nymphs of the lake. When Shiva’s wife the Goddess Parvathy went to visit them, she embraced them all, and all 6 children amalgamated and became one child – Murugan!

Sooran Porr is the day when Murugan defeated a major demon (`Sooran’) in a battle (`Porr’). Hence the name `Sooran Porr’ – meaning `Demon War’. During this war, the demon is said to have attacked the god Murugan several times, and each time was defeated by being beaded. And following each beheading, the demon sprouted another head and came to attack the god Murugan again. Finally the god not only struck his head off with his sacred spear (called `Vel’) but split his chest, where upon the demon shape-shifted into a mango tree. This too tried to attack the god, and Murugan split the tree truck open with his sacred spear once more. And from the split tree, a Cockerel and a Peacock flew out (aspects of the demon), to attack the god as a last resort. Murguan immediately tamed the Peacock and turned it into his carrier, and transformed the Cockerel into a Victory-flag.

This is why in all graphical representations, Hindus depict this Warrior God Murugan as being seated on a Peacock, and holding a flag with a picture of a Cockerel on it.

Giants of Hindu Festivals - Mani NavasothyThe battle itself is re-enacted every year in Hindu Temple grounds all over the world, using idols and large statues  (Giants) of the god Murugan and the demon. Devotees fast for the 5 preceding days, and on the last day, attend the temple, and carry these idols and giant statues as part of the festivities and processions. The enactment can take anything from half an hour to a few hours, as each stage of the battle is carefully attended to. It is usual for the head Priest to stand by the idol or statue of the god Murugan and `use the sacred spear’ to attack the `Demon’. Usually it takes about 10-12 devotees (highly strong men) to carry he large statue of the Demon, and to put it through various rigorous battle movements – of attacks, withdrawals, threats, swings and turns.

The exact date of this `Sooran Por’ varies according to the Nakshathra positions (Hindu astrology has 27 Nakshathra positions through which the Moon passes through each month, in addition to the 12 zodiacs and 12 house positions), but it usually falls towards the middle of the month of November, which has the name `Karthikai’ and hence the god himself has another name deriving from the month,`Karthikeyan’.

[This article was originally written for `Gaian Times Magazine #6  November 2012].

-Mani Navasothy

ps. As this blog has now had over 35,000 views, and this happens to my 275th blog post..I thought a bit of celebration was in order. Being spiritual, I thought writing about this `Hindu festival of Victory’ was an appropriate blog 🙂