When the gods meet
Thrissur is best known for its mammoth Pooram Festival, which is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. The legends and myths behind each festival of Kerala are many, varied and equally interesting. Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic gods and goddesses of neighbouring province met together for a day of celebration. This usually happened on the pooram asterism of one of the spring months.
The gods and their entourage arrived for the meeting on colourfully decorated tuskers. Even today, the converging of these divine processions at the festival venue is an awe inspiring sight. The pooram draws to a close with mind-blowing fireworks displays in the evening and in the wee hours of the next morning. Some of the main Pooram celebrations are at Aratupuzha, Thrissur, Uthralikavu, Cheeramkulangara, Pariyanampetta, Mannarkad, Perumanam, Aryankavu, Mangottu, Medamkulangara, Kodikal, Thirumandhamkunnu etc.
Thrissur Pooram is held in the Malayalam month of Medam (April- May). Devotees and spectators from all parts of the state and even outside, throng the 'Pooram'.
Introduced during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran (1775- 1790), the Raja of Kochi, Pooram is an assemblage of suburban deities before the presiding deity at the Siva temple in down town Thrissur. The Pooram celebration is held at the Thekkinkadu grounds.
Traditionally, two groups representing the main geographic divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi, rival to add to the Pooram's grandeur. Both teams field face to face arrays of richly caparisoned elephants.
And then 'Kudamattam', a competition in the swift and rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequinned parasols is conducted. The whole event takes place in rhythm with the traditional orchestra 'Pandimelam'.