Goddess Worship

The Times of India ran an interesting story about a crossdressing religious tradition:

They are about to take part in the Kottankulangara Sridevi temple festival. The ancient temple in Chavara, Kerala, has a unique tradition. On the last two days of the festival, regular men, common office-going professionals, dress up as women for the chamayavilakku (chamaya is make-up, vilakku is lamp). Bedecked with flowers, lamps in hand, they wait patiently till the wee hours of dawn for the goddess to bless them.

It’s also become a gathering for “feminine men,” or Kothis – which the article identifies as homosexuals and transvestites.

(Thanks to Veronica for the link.)