Flags hoisted at Thrissur Pooram festival; full-fledged event on May 10

The flag hoisting ceremony at Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples. Photo: Unni Kottackal

Thrissur: Thrissur Pooram, one of Kerala's most popular and most attended temple festivals, kick-started on Wednesday with the ritualistic flag hoisting at two temples in the district. The week-long festival will reach its peak on Pooram Day, on May 10.

Pooram, resplendent with caparisoned elephants in accoutrements, display of colourful parasols, percussion music and fireworks display, has been an integral part of the State's culture and pride.

The ritual at Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Thrissur. Photo: Unni Kottackal

The festival held annually at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, which is popular for huge gatherings, had been scaled down the last two years due to the pandemic. In 2020, only the rituals were held as part of the pooram. The procession as part of the festival, and rituals, were held with limited people in attendance in 2021. This year, however, the festival will be held in full-fledged manner since the Covid numbers have come down drastically in the state.

The selection of elephants, too, would be held as in pre-COVID years. As many as 70 elephants would be required for the participating Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi sides (deshams), and the eight allied poorams from nearby temples.

On Wednesday, the festival flags were hoisted at the major temples in Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu as well as the eight subsidiary temples. Other major events related to the Thrissur pooram include a sample fireworks display on May 8 and the main pyrotechnic display during the wee hours of May 11.

The ritual at Thiruvambady Sri Krishna Temple, Thrissur. Photo: Unni Kottackal

The exhibition of ‘Pooram’ paraphernalia by the Thiruvambady temple will take place on May 8 and by Paramekkavu the next day.

The famed ‘Madhathil varavu’ panchavadyam recital is scheduled at 11 am on May 10. ‘Elanjithara melam’ would take place at 1.30 pm the same day and the exchange of colourful parasols at 5.30 pm. The deity Thiruvambady Bhagavathy will parade out of the temple at 7 am and Paramekkavu Bhagavathy at 11 am.

Wednesday’s events include the procession of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy and hoisting of a flag having the symbol of a lion. Subsequently, the deity would be taken for the ‘aaraattu’ ritual to the Vadakkunnathan Temple.

Thrissur pooram to return in all its glory next month

At the Thiruvambady temple also, after flag hoisting, the deity would be taken to Vadakkunnathan Temple for ‘aaraattu.’ The elephant who would be carrying the festival idol of the deity this year is Thiruvambady Chandrasekharan.

The minor temples involved in the pooram festival are, Kanimangalam, Panamukkumpilli, Chembukavu, Karamukku, Laloor, Choorakkottukavu, Ayyanthole and Neythilakkavu.

Meanwhile, Kelath Aravindaksha Marar, a noted percussionist who has been part of the Elanjithara Melam for the last 45 years, has announced his withdrawal from the event this year citing advanced age. During the last 23 years, Aravindaksha Marar had taken the place immediately on the right side of Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, the ‘pramani’ (chief performer) at Elanjithara Melam.


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