Flamboyant temple festival of ‘Pooram’ commences with traditional flag hoisting in Kerala

Thrissur (Kerala), May 4: Thousands of ardent devotees thronged to attend the world famous annual seven- day Hindu temple festival, ‘Pooram’ that kick started with the traditional flag hoisting ceremony in Kerala’s Thrissur on Saturday.

The flag hoisting ceremony popularly known as ‘Kodiyetam’ was a flamboyant visual treat with the presence of male elephants adorned by golden caparisons on their trunks and Kerala’s traditional drummers who enthralled the audience to the beats of the drum roll performance known as ‘Chenda Melam’.

Special rituals were held in the temples before and after the ceremony.

The President of Paramekavu Temple Managing Council, Manoharan, took pride in describing the seven- day festivities which often woo spectators from other nations.

“The flag hoisting of the ‘Pooram’ (festival) marking the beginning of the Pooram was held today. The seventh day, that is, May 09 is Thrissur Pooram. The famous display of fireworks will be held on the early morning of May 10. ‘Pakal Pooram’ (Day time festival) will be held on May 10. After the ‘Pakal Pooram’, the Goddesses of Paramekavu and Thiruvambadi will meet each other and will part for the year and then Pooram will come to a close,” said Manoharan.

Vadakkunnathan temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the pivot of attraction and ten temples surrounding it send their processions to worship Lord Shiva in the main temple.

All of the ten temples participate in the ‘Kodiyetam’, among which the pompous festivities and celebrations of Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples being the richest among the other ten temples.

There will be special festival programmes in all the participating temples in connection with the festival for the remaining days, till the Pooram day.

The elephants were the main attraction of the annual event, and these graceful pachyderms marched through the streets of the city before reaching the temple Vadakkunnathan, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Myriad of devotees and tourists had converged from various parts of India as well as the world to witness the colourful Pooram festival.

Artistes from other parts of the state staged a variety of cultural performances to entertain visitors.

According to tradition, over 100 caparisoned elephants take part in the public processions at the end of the festival, known as ‘Kudamattam’.

The preparations for the Pooram are also in full swing at various places inside and outside the temple premises.

“The preparations for the festival have been completed. The volunteers from the temple are working day and night to present a visual treat to the audience. Thrissur Pooram being one of the world’s largest visual delights, we are working together to present it grandly before the world,” added Manoharan.

Pooram 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. (ANI)