The annual Annai Vailankanni Madha feast got off to a colourful start on the Marina on Friday evening with fishermen transporting the flag of the local shrine in the kuppam, in a boat from the south side, carrying it across the Marina sands and then hoisting it on the pole around the small shrine in Dooming kuppam.
A Catholic priest was at hand to lead the prayer and blessing of the flag.
Hundreds of people of the kuppam zone gathered here for prayers that began after 7 p.m. and the flag hoisting took place at about 9 p.m. as crackers lit up the night sky on an evening it had rained a bit.
The tradition of transporting the flag by boat is an old one, say local community residents, and the feast though celebrated all over in early September annually is held in this kuppam in August to enable those who wish to make the pilgrimage to Vailankanni shrine in south coastal Tamil Nadu to do so.
Prayers will be said here every evening over 8 days and the feast celebrated grandly at the end of this period.