Mangalore,August 26: Thousands of devotees flocked into the seashore on Monday August 25th, which is the very first new moon day falling after Srikrishna Janmashtami festival. In Kannada it is known as Ellu Amavasya or Shravana Amavasya and is considered as auspicious.
Apart from temples like Lord Somanatha Temple in Someshwara, Narahari Parvatha, Maravanthe etc which is on the seashore; the devotees visit Arabian sea on this day to wash away their past sins, invoke blessings of late elders of the family and bathe in the blessings of the Lord.
On Monday, long before sunrise; thousands of people among all age groups began visiting the seashore in Someshwara adjacent to Lord Somanatha Temple. It is customary for the devotees to hold betel leaves and coconut in their hands, rotate them around their own heads thrice, before offering these items to the sea and then taking holy dip. It is believed this ritual gets rid of the ill-effects of Shanidosha (influence of planet Saturn) which might be affecting them.
A large crew of life guards and policemen keep vigil at the seashore on this day to see that reckless divers do not face any danger. The devotees, after bathing in saline water of Arabian Sea, take a dip in nearby pond named as Gadateertha, before paying obeisance at the temple. On this day, devotees offer poojas such as Rudrabhisheka, Kumkumarchane, Karpura Arati etc to the presiding deity and family deities in the temple.
Usually, Shravana Amavasya falls either during August end or September first week, which coincides with the time farmers begin weeding their fields. Perhaps, considering the need to buy sickles to clear weeds and gather greens for the cattle, a practice followed by devotees visiting Someshwara is to buy sickles there. Sensing an opportunity of doing brisk business, blacksmiths who manufacture sickles arrive here from far off places like Uppinangady, Beltangady, Kundapur etc a day in advance to sell their wares.
Due to the practice of offering the sesame seeds (Ellu in Kannada) on the seashore, during the ritual of homage paid to departed elders in the family; Shravana Amavasya is also known as Ellu Amavasya