May 15th, 2007


Another lovely lamp...

We can no longer have very large "viLakku"s or lamps at home, because polisihing them and maintaining them are quite a chore; but at least in wedding halls or kalyana mantapas, we still have large and beautiful lamps, lit with wicks and oil, and burning brightly.

Here's one of them:

Kuthu ViLakku...29 Apr 07, Karthik Rohini wedding

This lamp is typical of Tamizh Nadu; it is called the "kutthu viLakku" ("kuthhu" signifies stake is driven -kutthi- into the ground and stands upright.) The ornament at the top is the hamsam...a stylized depiction of a swan (not that we seem to have had any endemic swans in India, but...)

A symbol of happiness, plenty, and wellness. A home with the lamps lit at sundown is a happy, welcoming home. A home where a death has occurred doesn't light lamps for some time; only one is lit and kept near the body and it is kept alight continously for 13 days after the death, when the soul is supposed to have joined those of the forefathers.

You can refer to this post of mine,

regarding the lamps I have at home.

The lamp I photographed above was about 6 feet tall!