Aravan’s wedding is a semi-religious transgender event that takes place in Koovagam near the village of Villupuram in the Tamil month of Chitrai (April/May).
The festival takes place at the Koothandavar Temple dedicated to Aravan (Koothandavar). The participants marry the Lord Koothandavar, thus reenacting an ancient history of Lord Vishnu/Krishna who married him after taking a form of a woman called Mohini. The next day, they mourn the god Koothandavar’s death through ritualistic dances and by breaking their bangles.
The festival also serves as a platform to raise awareness of transgender issues in mainstream society.