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Thrissur Pooram festivals
Thrissur pooram festival-Life in Kerala is merriment with a large number of festive celebrations keeping the spirit high in the state. Daily routine also undergoes a twist when the celebrations of Thrissur Pooram are around the corner. Regarded as mother of all Poorams, Thrissur Pooram holds a special relevance in the heart of the people.
The importance of this festival and the size of the gathering keep on increasing every year as people from all over the world visit the state to become a part of the celebrations. The beauty of Thrissur Pooram makes it one of the most interesting and one of the most exquisite celebrations. The uniqueness, magnitude and pageantry of Thrissur Pooram can behold the tourist’s attention. This is not just a temple festival but it is one of the best and worth seeing festivals of Kerala.
The Thrissur Pooram is celebrated in the month of Medom according to the Malayalam calendar and marks the gathering of gods and goddesses in Thrissur. The gods and goddesses visit Vadakumnathan temple on caparisoned elephants which are accompanied by pancha vadyam and chenda melam. The rituals for each deity are carried out in a strictly planned itinerary and schedule and the 36 hours journey is completed nonstop without losing on the energy.
Various stories give an insight to the origin of Thrissur Pooram; however only some of them are true. 200 years before Thrissur Pooram was celebrated at Arattupuzha and was regarded as one of the biggest and most famous temple festival of the region. Various temples that participated in Thrissur Pooram were regular participants of Arattupuzha pooram. Once due to heavy rain, different temples could not participate in the celebrations and the chief of Peruvanam Gramam later on denied them entry.
As a reprisal act, the chief of Vadakunnathan started Pooram in Thrissur and later on forms association with other pooram celebrations. Thrissur Pooram is a mass festival which is celebrated to mark the celebration of 10 temple festivals. The festival is organized every year by two groups, namely Eastern group and the western group.
The celebrations time
With the opening of the Thrissur Pooram exhibition, the city residents and visitors get engulfed by the celebrations mood. The exhibition provides a platform to promote, educate, sell or advertise various products. Play stations and informative stalls are surrounded by curious onlookers and active participants. This exhibition has been conducted since 1964 by state as well as the central government. A day before the actual celebrations, the exhibition is conducted with a flag hosting ceremony. In the vadakunnathan maidan, exquisite firework is displayed on this day. This is believed to be curtain raising ceremony of what is about to come in the following days.
The sample testing of firework is done to make any alterations or changes for the final day ceremony. However this event also attracts a huge rush of visitors. Both Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu arrange their respective parasols and ornaments to attract visitors on large scale.
Chamayakazcha is believed to be another curtain raiser for Thrissur Pooram. Chamayakazcha or viewing of the display of ornaments and decorations offers an amazing experience to the tourists. In the next 36 hours Thrissur Pooram would be celebrated on full scale.
The participant poorams can be divided into two major parts which are further sub divided. The two sides and their sub division are:
- Chempukkavu Baghavathy
- Pookattikkara-Karamukku Baghavathy
- Panemukkumpilly Sastha
- Choorakatthkara Baghavathy
- Nethilakkavu Baghavathy
- Ayyanthole Baghavathy
- Kanimangalam Sastha
- Laoor Baghavathy
The flag hosting ceremony is done by the celebration committee. A large number of temples have permanent flag posts but the pooram flag is hosted in a makeshift post which has been constructed out of Aracanut tree. The carpenter who cut the post in ritualistic style undergoes a week vow before starting with his job. It is also mandatory for him to do the bhoomipooja. The carpenter is the only non Brahmin person who does the pooja inside the temple.
According to the traditions, the carpenter has to wear a sacred thread all the time during the festive celebrations. Hosting of the flag is done only after taking permission from senior members. Two flags are hosted in Neithalkavu temple, one in front of Anthimahakalan and the second in front of Devi temple.
Strict time schedule is followed to pay obeisance to Hindu deity, Lord Vadakumnathan. The beginning of the day is marked by “kanimangalam sastha” entering into vadakkumpilly through the southern gopuram and leaving through the western gopuram. The night route differs from the day route and people can also enjoy firework during that time.
The day of celebrations
Pooram originally denotes stars or nakshatram of the Malayalam month. Various festivals are celebrated in this month and the city remains filled with enthusiasm and gaiety. On pooram days various temples in Central Kerala used to hold their annual feasts in the honor of various deities. The celebrations are marked with processions of percussion ensembles and caparisoned elephants.
Pooram festival season is marked from the beginning of November and lasts up to May. More than hundred of pooram festivals are celebrated in this season however Thrissur Pooram remains the most important festival which is celebrated in April or May.
Firework forms an essential part of all celebrations and without it the celebrations feels incomplete. During the celebrations of Thrissur Pooram, the fireworks are distinct in its performance, magnitude, character and excellence. The temples which are filled with crowd compete with each other to offer the unexpected show. People from all over the country visit Kerala to catch a glimpse of the amazing display of firecrackers.
Four major types of fireworks are displayed in Thrissur Pooram. Sample fireworks done on the day before to the actual celebrations. Colorful sparkles are the most impressive ones that light up the sky with beautiful colors. During the early morning time on the day of festival marks the third show and the final firework in the afternoon to bid farewell to the goddesses.
- When to celebrate Thrissur Pooram in 2014:
9 May marks the celebrations of Thrissur Pooram
- When to celebrate Thrissur Pooram in 2015:
28 April marks the celebrations of Thrissur Pooram
- When to celebrate Thrissur Pooram in 2016:
18 April marks the celebrations of Thrissur Pooram.