“Kaantha njanum varam thrissur pooram kanan!”
Yes! It’s again that time of the year to witness the majestic “Thrissur pooram”. The literal meaning of the word pooram is ‘a group’ or ‘a meeting’. And thrissur pooram is indeed a glorious meeting of people from all over Kerala, caparisoned elephants and an ever glowing string of unity and fraternity. Thrissur pooram is famous for its secular nature and the colorful traditions such as “kudamattam” and the mesmerizing “ilanjitaramelam”, which is a treat to our ears.
This year’s pooram is to be conducted on May 13th, which we can guarantee will be a magnificent event like that of earlier years. Raja Ravi Varma, who was known popularly as ‘Shakthan tamburan’ was the mastermind behind this glorious festival. During his reign(1790-1805), the temples near to Thrissur were not able to take part in the “Arattupuzha pooram” due to the heavy downpour. Arattupuzha pooram was the largest temple festival during that era and when they were denied the chance of participating in the temple procession, temple authorities from Thrissur felt embarrassed and they conveyed their anger to the king. Thus Sakthan tampuran decided to bring together 10 temples which were situated near to the ‘Vadakkunathan temple’ and organised the first ever “Thrissur pooram”.
Pooram officially kicks off with the “flag hoisting ceremony” and the seventh day from the flag hoisting will be the Thrissur pooram. There will be light fireworks display which will let people know about the commencement of pooram and on the 4th day after this event, there will be a sample pyrotechnics event -which is known as the “sample vedikettu”. The sample vedikettu will give an idea about the spectacular pyrotechnics event to follow-the main round of vedikettu, which will be held at “Tekkinkadu maidanam” at the early hours of the seventh day.
The seventh day of the pooram which is called as the ‘pagal pooram’ is the last and main day of the event, which starts with the spectacular vedikettu during its early hours. Then during the day, there will be the major attractions which draws a large crowd to pooram such as ‘madathil varav’, a panchavadyam melam and kudamattam takes place.
Kudamattam is a splendid display of variety of umbrellas by both the sides-paramekkavu and thiruvambadi competitively. This is a crowd-puller event, in which the umbrellas are made fresh each year and is displayed by putting it up on top of the elephants. A large number of caparisoned elephants are used in this festival. The vibrant colors of umbrellas and the caprisoned elephants create a picturesque view for the spectators.
The pooram is concluded with the tradition of “Upacharam cholli piriyal” where the idols of both thiruvambadi and paramekkavu temples are taken back from swaraj round to the respective temples. This will be followed by another round of pyrotechnics, which is called as “pakal vedikettu”.
Thrissur pooram, despite being a temple festival is celebrated by the people from all walks of life, irrespective of the religion,caste and other differences. More than a festival, it is a culturally significant golden thread which unite people regardless of the diversity. The colors and charisma of this festival is priceless, which creates an everlasting feeling of belonging to the humanity. So pack your bags, and explore this splendid festival with your “kaanthan” and cherish those memories!