Pooram fever grips Thrissur residents

via PNS | Thrissur published on April 27, 2009

PNS | Thrissur

The country is going through elections, which several describe as the festival of democracy, but people of Thrissur have forgotten all about politics as their attention is now riveted on the great festival to be celebrated on May 3. The Kodiyettu (hoisting of the flags) ritual on Monday, would mark the beginning of eight days of festivities for the people here.

Hundreds of workers are engaged in the preparations for the Thrissur Pooram, known as Pooram of Poorams meaning the biggest of all temple festivals in Kerala. The festival organizing committees of the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devawsoms, the two main participants in the festival, have finalized all the arrangements for the Pooram.

Kodiyettu would be held on Monday, marking the start of the Pooram festival, at the two participating temples, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady on the morning of April 17. The Tanthris and Melshanthis (the chief temple priests) at the two temples will lead the rituals associated with Kodiyettu.

A representative of the carpenter family of Kanattukara, the traditional heirs of the ceremony, will perform the Bhoomi Pooja at the spot where the flag-pole is to be erected in Thiruvambady temple. People belonging to the Thara (locality) of the temple will hoist the flag after its pooja within the sanctum sanctorum.

The local people would perform the flag-hoisting at the Paramekkavu temple with the deity, who would be escorted out of the temple, witnessing the event. The flag with the lion seal, given from the temple would be attached to the pole made of areca nut tree by the carpenter family of Chembil. Arattu of the goddess would be held at the Pushkarni (holy pond) at the Sri Vadakkunnathan Temple after which she would be brought there escorted by five caparisoned elephants.

The Pooram festival is held at the famous Thekkinkadu grounds on the premises of the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple in the centre of the city, it does not participate in the festival. The concept is that the two goddesses from Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady are coming to visit the deity of the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple on the Pooram day.

The two participating teams have already finalized the elephants to form the 15-elephant contingents each to be arrayed on the day of the Pooram. Teams of artists for percussions, one of the highlights of the festival, have also been arranged.

The mini pooram, the main event of which is the Sample Vedikkettu, the preparatory fireworks display, will be held on May 1 while the actual festival is on May 3. Works on the ornaments and decorations like the caparisons for the thirty elephants participating in the Pooram from the two sides were continuing.

Parasols in different colours, shades and designs to be displayed on the Pooram day by the two teams to compete each other (Kudamattom) were being given the final touches. The ornaments with which the elephants would be decked up for the festival would be put on display by both Devaswoms on the eve of the festival.

Enhanced security measures would be witnessed at this year’s Pooram. The prevailing situation of security threat in the country and the recurring incidents of fireworks accidents were the two main reasons for stepping up the security procedures.

The district administration has almost finalized the preparations for the Pooram. Officials had already been directed to complete arrangements in a time-bound manner. Several rounds of meetings on the preparations for Pooram had been held already. The district administration has also held discussions with with representatives of Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswoms.

Elaborate security and crowd control measures would be in place during the festival, which was to conclude at noon, May 4. Ambulances would be kept ready at major centres in the city and its surroundings. Special squads would check the quality of food served in city restaurants.

The Kerala Water Authority and the Thrissur Municipal Corporation would ensure that there was no disruption of water supply and electricity during the Pooram celebrations. The district administration would closely monitor whether rules for display of fireworks and elephant management were being followed.

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