Ambubachi Mela: Festival to mark the menstrual period of the goddess
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I – Culture and Indian society
- Ambubachi Mela, is a four-day fair to mark the annual menstruation of the goddess at Kamakhya temple, Assam.
- Kamakhya, atop Nilachal Hills in Guwahati, is one of 51 shaktipeeths or seat of Shakti followers, each representing a body part of Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion. The temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the yoni — female genital — symbolised by a rock.
- Temple priests said the ritualistic fair celebrating the goddess’ period is one of the reasons why the taboo associated with menstruation is less in Assam compared to other parts of India.
- The attainment of womanhood of girls in Assam is celebrated with a ritual called ‘Tuloni Biya’, meaning small wedding.