Thrissur Pooram: Five Things to know About Kerala’s Spectacular Temple Festival
Fireworks are an integral part of Kerala’s temple festivals, but the Thrissur Pooram is referred to as ”the mother of all” firework and temple celebrations. It sets the benchmark for Kerala’s annual temple festival celebrations.
Year after year, lakhs of people come to participate in the festival. This includes tourists who are delighted by the sheer grandeur of the celebrations. A spectacular array of the finest elephants come together amidst the grandeur of traditional drum beats and fireworks.
Now check out 5 interesting facts that make Kerala’s Thrissur Pooram a totally different temple festival:
1. Thrissur Pooram is a high energy, traditional drums-and-fireworks driven festival. This also means that you have to brace yourself for witnessing the most stunning, dare-devil type of fireworks along with the majestic traditional drumbeats that accompany it. Some cynics may call it ”noise pollution” but this is one grand festival that is a visual treat to watch and people from all communities gather to take part in it.
2. Thrissur Pooram is a seven-day festival which is celebrated on the day when the star sign ”Pooram” occurs in the Malayalam month of ”medam”. The main temples in Thrissur such as the Paramekkavu Devi temple and the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple have to pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the famed Vadakunnathan temple. The two aforementioned temples oppose each other during the celebrations and their ”elephant teams” compete with one another on the sixth day through the elephant procession, fire works and overall cultural representation.
3. A grand display of some of the fifteen elephants is one of the most anticipated aspects of this festival. The fifteen elephants are decorated in stunning, gold-threaded work and finery, every detail of every accessory is carefully inspected and looked into before finalising for the D-day. For this occasion alone, beautifully hand-crafted umbrellas and ”vencharams” are made for the men who sit on the elephant during the celebrations.
4. The men seated on top the elephants are the ”action heroes” of this festival. They have to briskly keep changing the umbrellas and ”vencharams” keeping with the changing rhythm of the drum beats. The men are highly trained and well practiced before they are chosen for this function and they compete against each other in terms of fluidity, poise, and grace while they do their job, besides their speed.
5. The seventh day of the festival is the grandest. This festival is a much anticipated one, with people from all walks of life thronging to the place just to get a glimpse and savor the experience of a lifetime.
This year, however, the Thrissur Pooram celebrations are likely to be muted, keeping in mind the fireworks tragedy that killed over 100 people during the Puttingal Devi temple. Also, certain conditions have been imposed on the Thrissur Pooram celebrations in the state this year for the safety of people.