Countdown to pooram begins

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on April 22, 2007

The actual countdown to the famous Thrissur pooram festival began on Saturday with hoisting of the festival flags at the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples, the two main participants of the pooram and at other small temples here. For the Thrisurians the next eight days are of celebrations. The pooram, perhaps the biggest temple celebration in the State, is on April 26, but the festivities end only on the following day. 

The flag-hoisting ceremony at the Thiruvambadi temple was at 11.30 am and that at the Paramekkavu at 2.30 pm. Temple Tanthri Puliyannoor Kunjaniyan Namboothirippad and Melshanti Moothedath Sukumaran Namboothirippad led the rituals associated with the flag-hoisting ceremony at Thiruvambadi temple. In Paramekkavu temple, Tanthri Puliyannoor Anujan Namboothrippad and Melshanti Perumbadappu Jatavedan Namboothirippad led the special poojas related with the event.  

Festival flags were hoisted at the temples around the city that are also participants in the pooram festival. The Sastha temple at Kani-mangalam, Karthyayani Bhagavathi temple at Laloor, Karthyayani temple at Ayya-nthole, Choorakkottukavu Devi temple at Choorakkattukara, the Sastha temple at anekkampilly, the Devi temple at Chembukkavu, the Karamukku Devi temple at Pookkattikkara and the Naithalakkavu Bhagavathy temple at Kuttoor also witnessed hoisting of flags.  

Festival flags in Kerala temples are normally hoisted by priests of the temple, but at the two main temples that participate in the Thrissur pooram, it is a right awarded to the local people. The duty of the priests ends with the pooja of the flag to be hoisted.  

Similarly, certain carpenter families that are involved in temple construction are given the right to prepare the flag poles.  

Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing for the great event to be held on April 27.  

Construction of Pandals at Naikkanal, Naduvilal and Kuruppam Road junctions on Swaraj Round, the circular road around the Thekkinkadu Maidam surrounding the temple of Vadakkunnathan, where the pooram is held.  

Thrissurians are extremely happy in celebrating the pooram this year as there was uncertainty on the conduct of this grand festival with several rulings from the court and administrations. Several hurdles were present before the smooth conduct of the pooram and now there is a sense of jubilation prevailing all round the district and the State. 

For the past three months the people of the cultural capital of the State had feared that the pooram would have to be a name sake event this year as there were many difficulties. 

Problem had started with the court ruling that restricted the noise levels between 10 pm and 6 am. This had created fear that the percussion ensemble and the fire works display could not be held. 

However, the court later clarified that there were no restrictions on these. The recent high court order that elephants should not be paraded between 11 am and 3 pm had again created trouble. The court later exempted Thrissur pooram from these restrictions.

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