Padayani Festivals

Padayani Kolams

Kolam Thullal (dance of the effigies) is one of the most fascinating aspects of the Padayani festival. The frenzied dance of kolams in the arena of Padayani is a highly theatrical performance. These kolams are generally prepared in the vicinity of the temple using green spathes of the arecanut tree and Kuruthola, the tender coconut leaves. The green portion of the spathes is cut into different sizes and shapes to form the face and headgear of different forms of the Kolams. These pieces then ornamented using natural colours like red, yellow and black. The paint used for the same are Red paint, obtained from grinding red stones; black from the soot of burnt coconut shells (chiratta) and yellow paint, derived from grinding turmeric (manjal). The white colour is obtained by polishing the green spathe. To maintain the freshness of the spathe all the kolams are made just before the performance. The biggest one, representing Goddess Bhadrakaali, is made of 1001 pieces of spathe. During the festival season, one can see the whole village take part in the making of these kolams, an image of unity in diversity.