The Feast

The Feast

The Catholic Church observes the feast of St George on 23rd April. The feast of St George in Edappally Church starts on 25th and lasts till May 15th. The annual feast at the St. George's Forane Church is celebrated on 3rd and 4th of May and the Octave on 10th and 11th. The Flag is hoisted on 25th of April. There are 40 hours Adoration and 9 days of Novena in preparation for the Feast.

Before the flag is hoisted, the President and members of the Darsana Samooham go to the Vicar with 101 sweets and savories and offer them to him. He is then invited to hoist the flag. This ceremony is a reminder of an ancient custom that was in vogue for centuries but now discontinued. For many years, the members of the parish used to go to the Raja of Edappally, between whom and the church there was a strong bond of friendship, to seek his permission for hoisting the flag. The Raja will accord it and will arrange for the transportation of the flagpost gifted by him by his palace elephant.

On May 1st, the statue of St.George, bedecked with gold ornaments given as offering by the devotees, is taken out in a solemn procession. The statue is placed in a roopakoodu. The roopakoodu is carved from

wood with elegant designs. It is then placed in a chariot made out of teak and etched with Biblical scenes. This chariot is manually driven. Bands play loudly and fireworks add a touch of gaiety to the occasion. Devotees shower betel leaves ad puffed rice on the roopakoode. The procession takes more than an hour to wind its way back to the church. The colourful procession of the feast days is very remarkable and is attended by tens of thousands. The statue of the Saint is welcomed in front of the houses by showering betel leaves, crushed rice and popped rice and by colourful fireworks.

The main offering at the church on feast days is the offering of fowls. People firmly believe that the Saint will accept their offering and provide them protection from snakes and other reptiles. This belief is related to the statue of St. George who shows him mounted on his horseback and killing the monstrous serpent under the hooves of his horse. The fowls are ,auctioned at the church and bidden by worshippers. Many of them cook these fowls in the neighboring houses and consume them. Others offer eggs, figurines of human beings and parts of the human -body made out of gold, silver and bronze, symbols of snakes and other reptiles, gold and silver ornaments etc. Other ceremonies such as vedi nercha, soolam ezhunnalickal, adima, etc. are also performed at the church. With the flame of faith burning in their hearts, tens of thousands of people cutting across the barriers of religion, caste and creed reach here seeking peace and comfort through the intercession of their heavenly patron.