Kerala celebrates Hindu’s festival Pooram

kerala-location-mapArtisans in Kerala are burning midnight oil to weave colourful ornaments and parasols to adorn the tuskers for the last day of the Hindu festival of Pooram in Thrissur district.

World famous annual seven-day Hindu temple festival Pooram started with traditional flag hoisting ceremony on May 03 and will conclude on May 09.

Devotees and tourists gather in large numbers in Thrissur to witness the extravagant show at the festival where scores of colourfully caparisoned elephants and enthralling percussion performances mark the main attractions.

The festival bears a social message too. The artisans working at the temples said the festival brings together people from all casteS and religionS who join the preparations for the spectacular show.

“People from all religious groups – the Hindus, the Christians, irrespective of the caste and creed, everybody is cooperating. It was started by the famous Keralite ruler Sakthan Thampuran around 200 years back,” said an artisan, Prasar Murlidharan.

Highly skilled artisans are specially chosen to complete the work on elephants’ headgears, fans and parasols . The work started months back and the designs and patterns are kept secret from the competing temples. Articles are made in pure brass and gold plated with intricate art work.

Hundreds of colourful umbrellas or parasols are made by each temple using even 3D colours and designs and only few of these are displayed to the public as the rest are kept in secret places only to be taken out during the last day ceremony.

Pooram festival takes place in the month of April and is a show of flamboyance by around 10 temples where the two richest temples – Thiruvambadi Temple and Paramekkavu Temple – are among the major competitors.

“The festival promotes communal harmony through equal participation of artisans in making the gold plated headgears for the elephants from Christian community from Thiruvambadi in the east and Paramekkavu in the west. We are not looking into any religion but working together to make the festival a success,” said a Christian artisan, Joby.

As part of the festival, the caparisoned elephants, mainly male, pass through the streets of Thrissur before reaching Vadakkunnathan temple, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ten temples surrounding it also send their processions to worship Lord Shiva in the main temple.

Special festival programmes are being held in all participating temples till the last day.

According to custom, over 100 caparisoned elephants take part in the public processions and during the culmination, which is known as Kudamattom.

Pooram festival is celebrated every year between late April and mid May, known as the month of Medam, in the Malayalam almanac.

King Sakthan Thampuran of the erstwhile Kochi kingdom of the state in the late 18th century is believed to have commenced the Pooram festival on a mass scale.

Source: Business Standard