Festive fever grips central Kerala as Pooram begins

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on February 11, 2008

Festival fever is rising in central Kerala with various temples in Thrissur and Palakkad districts gearing up for the annual festival -Pooram.

The Poorams of central Kerala started with the festivals held at “eighteen-and-a half temples”, known as Pathinettara Kavu (groves) in Thrissur on first Tuesday of Malayalam month Makaram, in January.

The grand finale of these festivals will be Thrissur Pooram, the Pooram of all Poorams, which falls on April 16, just two days after Vishu festival, this year. All the main festivals of the region take place in February-March.

The major festivals will start with the Pooram of the Kuttiyankavu Bhagavathi Temple in Minaloor where two village teams compete with each other.

Pooram, which was not a very happening event till some years ago, had become a huge attraction for people from the neighbouring areas due to growth in the local economy.

The main Pooram after the festival at Minaloor is the “Vela” (another word for annual temple festival) of Thiruvanaikkavu Temple at Machad, some 21 km off Thrissur.

The festival popularly known as Machad Mamankam is being organised by one of the three village teams in alternate years. The teams in charge of the organisation are Thekkumkara, Punnamparambu and Panangattukara villages and this year the onus of the festival lies on Thekkumkara.

When most of the temple festivals in the region are celebrated with the Ezhunnallippu of caparisoned elephants, the attraction of Machad Mamankam is huge horses made of wooden planks and hay.

People of six villages known as Tharas bring their horses carrying them on the shoulders to the Thiruvanikkavu temple. Pyrotechnic displays are one of the highlights of the festival, which starts with the Para Purappad. Traditionally, it is believed that the deity visits homes to receive the offerings in the form of rice, coconut, fruits, tamarind, etc, reminding one of the splendours of the agrarian age. This year Machad Mamankam falls on February 19. It is the starting day of the festival of Uthralikkavu in Wadakanchery.

The Tuesday after the Thiruvanikkavu Vela is the day for the Pooram here when three teams- Wadakanchery. Kumaranellur and Enkekkad -will bring caparisoned elephants to the temple in a small paddy field surrounded by imposing hills for the festival.

This year Pooram here will be celebrated on February 26. An exhibition of trade and industry is being organised in Wadakanchery with the festival from February 15.

One of the biggest temple attractions in Palakkad is Pooram of the Chinakkathur temple off Ottapalam. The festival started on Monday and the Pooram, in which elephants and artificial horses, like those of the Thiruvanikkavu temple, will be the greatest attractions. This year, the festival falls on February 22.

The annual trade and industrial exhibition is highlight of the festival, and the function of erecting the pillar for the programme was held on Monday.

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