Thrissur Pooram 2021 Dates : 23rd April, Friday
Entry Fee : No entry fee
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Largest and most famous of all Poorams, the Thrissur Pooram is held at the Vadukkannathan Swamy temple of Kerala every year in April - May. This annual Hindu temple festival of Kerala is held for a week in the month of Medam according to the Malayalam calendar. It was first held during the reign of Raja Ravi Varma, the Maharaja of Cochin and popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran. A unity of 10 temples that are ordained as two groups namely Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu, brings a large festivity to life with a display of innovative fireworks and elephant caparisons. Being considered as the largest festival in Asia that's secular in nature, Thrissur Pooram is a festival that's a must see.
The temple-festival falls in the month of Medam of the traditional Malayali calendar, on the day when Pooram star witnesses the rising moon. Being observed according to the Malayalam calendar, which is varied from the Christian calendar, the dates for the observance of the festival varies each year regarding dates and months of the commonly followed Christian calendar. Though the month of Medam generally falls in April or May, it is still a task for the worshippers to look for dates, just like Muslims before observing the festival of Eid, before deliberating for attending the festival.
The festival commences with a flag hoisting ceremony, accompanied by fireworks that last all night, a week before the main celebration day.
The celebration takes place at the Vadakkunnathan temple which is located at a hammock at the centre of the city of Thrissur in Kerala. A temple built in the typical architectural design of the state, it attracts devotees as well as people who visit for the sake of discovering the beauty of the festival.
KudamattomElephants - lots of them, and highly adorned ones - mark the event of the Kudamattom ceremony, which is a central part of the week-long festivity. The term 'Kudamattom' comes from two root words, 'Kuda' meaning Umbrella and 'Mattom' meaning Change. Thus the ceremony displays a competition of changing colourful canopied umbrellas from above the adorned elephants between two teams, namely, Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu.
Ilanjithara MelamAnother event, known as the Ilanjithara Melam, takes place near the Ilanji tree in Vadakkunnathan temple's courtyard. It includes the beating of traditional percussions in which a large number of devotees perform, making it a major attraction of the festival with their captivating rhythm. The Sri Lankan pop artist Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam joined the festivity in 2018, hauled forth by the beauty of Ilanjithara Melam.
Madathil VararuThe event of Madathil Vararu marks the deities, Thiruvambadi Devi and Lord Krishna, taken out in a procession from their temple to the Vadakkunnathan temple, accompanied by an ocean of followers, with traditional instruments played all along.
Thrissur Pooram has a history of almost two hundred years, going back to the reign of Raja Rama Varma aka Sakthan Thampuran. The festival carries and continues on the legacy of the erstwhile Arattupuzha Pooram festival which was just a day-long event. Raja Rama Varma started the celebration of Thrissur Pooram with the united agreement of ten temples located around the Vadakkunnathan temple. Since the time, all these temples visit the Vadakkunnathan with their deities to pay respect to this manifestation of Lord Siva, not to mention a large number of visitors from the state and across the country that it attracts. Though official statistics are not available, arguably a torrent of five hundred thousand people gathers for the celebration.
The fact that the city of Thrissur is reputed as the cultural capital of Kerala and the grandeur of the celebration of Thrissur Pooram festival naturally appeal to people who come to know about them; a desire to witness the enormity of the solemnization and a feeling of longing is naturally felt.
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