LOKANARKAVU UTSAVAM || MAHASIVARATHRI || MALAPPURAM NERCHA
 

LOKANARKAVU UTSAVAM

Lokamalayarkavu, on Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi temple as is familiarly known, is situated at Memunda, six kilometers east of Badagara in North Kerala. Two festivals are celebrated here annually in the months of Vrishchikam (November-December) and Meenam (March-April). The festival in Vrischikam is known as Mandalavilakku, which is the most important one.

Mandalavilakku is really a grand festival worth seeing. People flock to the temple from different places to witness the festival. All the lamps on the walls of the temple will be lit on that occasion. These lights not only offer a delightful spectacle, but also help to intensify the devotion to and faith in Bhagavathi.

The Meenam festival is celebrated for eight days, the most important occasion being Kodiyettam (flag hoisting) on the Rohini day and the Arattu on the Pooram day. The special attraction on the fifth and the sixth days is the traditional dance performance of Theyyambadi Kurup. On the seventh day there will be Nadu Valam Vekka and Pallivetta and on the Pooram day there will be Poorappattu and Poorakkali. Poorakali is conducted during night. Poorappattu has theme from the life history of Bhagavathi. It is sung by Theyyampadi kurup in the Pattupura, a small shed located just in front of the temple. Since it is to be sung in the presence of Bhagavathi, the idol of Bhagavathi will be kept in that shed. A good number of Devi devotees attend this function. On pooram day, the idol of Bhagavathi is taken for Arattu.

MAHASIVARATHRI

The Mahasivarathri is essentially a religious festival unlike the Onam and Thiruvathira. The word means 'the great night of Siva'. According to the Sivapurana, it falls on the Krishna Chathurdasi day which is on the fourteenth day during the waning of the moon in the month of Megha, though in some years it may occur in Phalguna also. In Kerala the month of Kumbham is noted for the Sivarathri festival which falls in February-March.

The festival is said to commemorate the day on which Siva protected the world from a total annihilation either by drinking the deadly Kaalakoodum poison which was help up in his neck, or by effecting a healthy compromise between Brahma, the Creator and Vishnu, the Protector.

The Mahashivarathri is considered a very important day for fast and Siva worship. Though the observance offer Bali (sacrifice) to their ancestors in the morning succeeding the holy night.

In many respects the Sivarathri festival in Kerala can be considered a miniature Ardha Kumbha Mela held at Thriveni, the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga-Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswathi.

MALAPPURAM NERCHA

Years ago, one of the female dependants of Para Nambisan, a petty chieftain of Malappuram, was taken away by the local Muslims as a slave. Para Nambisan who could not bear this ignominy wanted to wreak vengeance upon the culprits. He therefore, sent for Marakkar, a leader of the local Muslims and the confrontation between them resulted in a fierce flight, causing death for so many on both sides. In memory of the devoted Muslim leaders who gave up their lives during the fight, a nercha is conducted every year, either in February or in March in the Mosque at Malappuram.

Processions, coming from the neighboring villages bringing with them Nercha boxes to the playing of instrumental music and other entertainments, are the highlights of this nercha. A very large number of Muslim devotees participate in this annual festival.



 
 
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