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Home > Discover Cochin > Art and Culture > Festivals
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  Thrissur Pooram
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Art & Culture
  Thrissur Pooram
  List of Festivals and Fairs
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Thrissur Pooram

The festival of festivals

Elephant processionThrissur Pooram…What comes to your mind first? Fireworks, exuberant elephant processions, mind blowing instrumental music… yes it's a combination of all these. Pooram - the spectacular temple festival falls in the Malayalam month of Medam (April or May).

Pooram is centered on 'Vadakkumnatha Kshetra', the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival is held in the heart of the city known as Thekkinkad Maidan (Formerly a teak wood forest), a circular mound which has an area of 60 acres. The name 'Thrissur' itself is derived from the ancient name of the town 'Thiru siva perur', which means 'The land of Lord Shiva.'

A crowd during Pooram festivalThe main participants of this festival are Paramekkavu temple and Thiruvambadi temple more than the Vadakkumnatha temple. Apart from these, the other temples participating are Kanimangalam, Karamuck, Chembukkavu, Choorakkot, Laloor, Ayyanthole and Neythilakkavu. Formerly Pooram was conducted in a place called Arattupuzha, which is believed to be the meeting place of all gods. Once Thrissur deities couldn't participate due to heavy rains and floods, so the then King of Thrissur, Sakthan Thampuran, decided to celebrate Pooram in Thrissur itself without any disturbance. Though there is no written evidence about the beginning of Pooram, it is believed to have begun in the 18th century.

Instrumental music - PanchavadyamThe festival begins with the flag hoisting ceremony called 'Kodiyettam', 15 days before the actual Pooram day. On the eve of Pooram, both the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples display the jewellery to be worn by the elephants.

The rituals of Pooram starts with the arrival of Thiruvambadi group called 'Madathil Varavu'. On this day elephants are decorated with Nettipattam (a fine piece of cloth fringed with gold plates). Three Namboothiri Brahmins will be seated on each of the elephants, one holding a long stemmed umberella, magnificently decorated with silk and satin and the other two hold Vencahamaram (Yak fur fan) and Alavattom (Circular peacock feather fan). After placing the two main idols on the back of the two huge elephants, the procession starts. During the procession, the Thiruvambadi music party plays the Panchavadya (Five instruments) and the Paramekkavu music party plays Pandimelam (drum music).

Display of jewellery to be worn by elephantsAfter that, the elephants from both parties face each other in an array, and the world famous Kudamattom starts (display of magnificent embroidered umberellas in a multitude of designs). As music reaches the peak, the display becomes faster. By evening both the parties disperse. Then finally at 2.30 am is the much-awaited dazzling event, which lights up the sky, called Vedikkettu (Firework display).

Then… slowly the crowd disappears….

And now, it's the time to say adieu to the grand festival of festivals….

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