Venue: Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple
Ritual dances with revellers lost in the sheer rapture of their spiritual embrace with the maker, are sights one can see at many temple festivals across Kerala. But there is a one day festival at the Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple in Alappuzha that is said to trump all other festivals, when it comes to the sheer vibrancy and ecstasy on display. The annual Thaipooyam Festival held in honour of Lord Subrahmanya, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, draws in large crowds from around the State.
The reason for its popularity is the legendary colourful ritualistic dance - the Kavadiyattom. Believers hoist kavadis (richly decorated wooden arches with flowers and peacock feathers) on their shoulders and perform Kavadiyattom. Some dancers even pierce their cheeks with lances and dance in a trance. Visuals of devout followers, swaying to the mythical beats of the chenda and to loud shouts of ‘harohara’, is an ethereal experience one can only have in God’s Own Country.
In Kerala, festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. We have calculated the festival dates based on these. But there can be changes in the dates according the customs and rituals associated with each place of worship. As such, these should be considered only as approximate dates and have to be confirmed with the local authorities.