Thrissur (Kerala), May 10: The grand festival of “Thrissur Pooram” kicked off here on Friday with small processions. The ceremony is known as ‘Koodamattam’ or “exchange of umbrellas” between the wealthiest temples of Kerala namely Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu.
A participant, Moorli Venkat, said: “The festival is getting better year after year. The ornaments used for elephants are new. Practically, we get to see a festival which has new flavour and ambience.”
Special rituals were held in the temples before and after the ceremony. Elephants belonging to the temple were taken out in a procession.
There will be special festival programme in all the participating temples in connection with the festival.
Visitors described the watching of the elephant procession and the play of lights as a wonderful and beautiful experience.
“Such festivals take our culture ahead,” said M.N.Sanpra, a resident of Mumbai.
Other major attractions of the event included fireworks. Special programmes are being organised in all participating temples amid traditional drumbeats, music and a much- awaited, much- acclaimed fireworks show, which is one of the main attractions of the festival.
According to the custom, over 100 caparisoned elephants participate in the public processions during the culmination ceremonies, known as ‘Kudamattom’.
The festival is celebrated every year between late April and mid May, on Pooram day when the moon rises with the Pooram star.
King Sakthan Thampuran of the 18th century Kochi Kingdom is believed to have commenced this festival that transcends religion, caste and community linkages. (ANI)