The historic Oddusuddan Thanthondreeswarar temple hunting festival (Vettai thiruvizha) was held in Mullaitivu on Wednesday to conclude the temple's annual Thiruvizha.
As part of a practice unique to this temple, devotees adorn themselves with bunches of vaagai (Lebbeck) leaves and cover themselves with black camouflage paint, reenacting ancient Tamil hunting rituals.
The Thanthondreeswarar shrine holds a special place in Eelam Tamil spiritual traditions, as the deity was believed to have appeared spontaneously at the temple's site, hence the name thaan-thondri - self-manifested, Eeswarar - supreme being.
The attendees and devotees observed safe social distancing measures and health inspectors also ensured that health guidelines were adhered to.
The festival set off on its traditional route and attendees danced passed Nedunkeni Oddusuddan road before they reached the temple.