Ceremonial flag hoisting at the Paramekkavu Bhagavathy and Thiruvambadi Sree Krishna Bhagavathy temples kick-started the annual Thrissur Pooram festival in Kerala. One of the most attended celebrations in the southern state, the week-long event will reach its peak on May 10. By Eshita Srinivas
A series of rituals called kodiyettam culminated in the hoisting of festival flags at major temples in Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu, as well as eight other subsidiary temples in Kerala earlier today. This marks the arrival of the popular Thrissur Pooram festival, which is underscored by a grand procession of decked-up elephants, glittering parasols, and melodious tunes. The spiritual and cultural event draws a staggeringly large number of crowds every year but had to be scaled down for the past two due to the pandemic. This year, the Kerala government has grand plans for the event, sans any COVID-19-related restrictions.
Over 70 elephants will grace this year’s Thrissur Pooram festivities in Kerala
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Believed to be the mother of all festivals, a report by the Times of India states that a 36-hour cultural celebration will begin on May 10. Preparations are believed to be going in full swing, with this year’s event expected to be historic in terms of participation as well as pomp. The police have estimated a 40 percent increase in footfall and, as such, have deployed 5,000 officials across the city for the same. Reflecting on this, City Police Commissioner R Adhithya was quoted by The New Indian Express as saying, “It is a fact that this year the number of people attending the pooram will exceed the previous year’s number. We are making all preparations, including additional security arrangements accordingly.”
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This annual event also features a lineup of vibrantly-dressed elephants. And as per a report by Onmanorama, as many as 70 will feature across all important religious centres this year. Other major details include a fireworks display on May 8 and a pyrotechnic display in the early hours of May 11. Also, an important aspect of the festivities, the ilanjithara melam, which features a resplendent performance of traditional instruments by over 250 artists, is also set to take place.
Times of India also reported that the flag masts for all the temples which kicked off the celebrations today were made by carpenters who undertook a 15-day fast and have traditional rights. The New Indian Express further reported that five elephants were paraded and a small percussion ensemble added to the festivities, with large crowds gathering to witness the series of events transpire.
For further details, visit the official website of Kerala Tourism, here.
Feature and hero image: @thrissur_pooram_photos/Instagram