Did you know that in the Hindu tradition, Aravan is considered the patron god to the transgender community?
India’s Koovagam Festival Begins, Two Week Long Celebration Of Transgender And Eunuchs
The Indian village of Villupuram is known as a sleepy farming community — that is, until this time of year, when thousands of transgendered people flood the area for an annual festival.
The colorful tradition known as Koovagam also attracts hijras, or castrated males.
They began celebrating Monday and will continue setting up camp during the next two weeks.
Attendees have already participated in a Miss Koovagam beauty pageant, a popular attraction that allows contestants to show off their flashiest dresses and jewelry, while lipsynching to music, according to reports.
The affair is rooted in the Hindu religion: Participants are there to honor the deity named Aravan, the patron god of the transgender community.
According to Hindus, Lord Krishna transformed as a beautiful woman for one night to marry Aravan, a warrior who was willing to be sacrificed the next day to ensure victory in battle.
As part of Koovagam, celebrants play the role of the bride as well as the widow to honor Aravan.
While the event has grown, according to reports, it’s also become a hotbed for the sex trade.
Wow… Learn something new everyday!