‘Thudi’ Art and Cultural Society, in association with Kerala Tourism and Kerala Folklore Academy, conducted a grand Thiramahotsavam at Thekkinkadu Maidanam in Thrissur district, Kerala, India. Around 500 artistes from about 30 cultural groups marked their presence in this fiesta and only Thiras performed in the Thiramahotsavam.
Poothan and Thira is an ancient folk dance usually performed every year during the Pooram festival season in the erstwhile Valluvanadan (south Malabar) region (locations of the present day Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur districts). According to mythology, Thira and Poothan are the lieutenants of Lord Siva who were sent along with Goddess Kali to kill the demon king Darika. After slaying the demon, Thira and Poothan danced along with Kali to celebrate their victory, and then Kali asked them to stay back to resist the return of demons on earth.
This dance form is usually performed by people belonging to Mannan and Perumannan communities. Artistes clad in vibrant costumes, simple makeup and huge semi-circular headgear that is made of intricately carved wooden pieces perform the Thira, and this dance is a true delight to watch. The main musical instrument used is Para (a percussion instrument).
The artistes perform for around 30 minutes in Thekkinkadu grounds. These performances may not be conducted in front of devout crowds as are done traditionally but they certainly serve to spread the significance of this ancient folk art and throw light on the great heritage and tradition of God’s Own Country.