ST. DOMINIC SYRIAN CHURCH FEAST Aluva

The feast of St. Dominic church at Aluva falls on the third Sunday after the Easter. The statue of the Saint is taken out in procession on that day. The feast of "Our Lady of the Holy Rosary" also consists of a spectacular procession on the Sunday after 8th of December. The entire length of the route is canopied with festoons, paper flower, baskets and balloons.

FEAST AT ST.JOSEPH'S SHRINE Meppadi


The annual feast at the shrine of St. Joseph is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. On the eve of the feast, the statue is carried in a colourful procession.

SUNDARESWAR TEMPLE FESTIVAL Kannur

This temple was founded in 1916 by Sree Narayana Guru. Lord Siva is the deity consecrated in the temple which has since been opened to all irrespective of caste or creed. Eight-day festival is conducted in March-April every year.



THUMPOLY FEAST

The parish of Thumpoly is renowned for its beautifully constructed church, called after St. Thomas and also dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statue of 'Our Lady' of Immaculate conception in popularly called 'Kappal Karathi Amma', the mother who came by ship. The feast of our lady which lasts for 11 days ending on December 8, is the grandest feast of the parish. There is grand procession on the last day.

THIRUNAKKARA UTSAVAM

The celebrated Mahadeva Temple at Kottayam, on the Thirunakkara Hill at the very centre of the Kottayam Municipal town is one of the important Siva temples, famous for its historical importance, antiquity and sanctity.

The grandest festival of this temple is the "Arattu Utsavam" lasting for ten days from the 1st of Meenam (March-April) which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people, irrespective of caste or creed. In the fair held in connection with the Utsavam, industrial and agricultural products are exhibited and sold. The highlights of the festival are the cultural programmes and variety entertainments staged during the festive days.

THIRUVATHIRA

The Thiruvathira festival falls on the asterism Thiruvathira in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (Decembe-January). The orgin of the festival is shrouded in obscurity. The people celebrate this festival upon age-old this festival upon age-old tradition and they do it with great joy and respect for the past. The Ardra Darshan celebrated in Tamil Nadu corresponds to Thiruvathira of Kerala. It is considered to be highly auspicious to worship Siva and the devotees go to the temple before sunrise for darshan. Apart from the worship in the Siva temple, there is very little celebration in the houses. Tradtion has it that Thiruvathira festivals is celebrated in commemoration of the death of Kamadeva, the mythological God of love. According to another version Thiruvathira is the birth day of Lord Siva.

Even though the Thiruvathira is celebrated by most of the Hindu communities it is essentially a Nair women's festival. Defying the biting cold of December, women get up at about 4 AM and take bath on seven days commencing from the asteriasm Aswathi. While taking bath they sing certain songs mostly relating to the God of love, accompanied buy a rhythmic sound produced by splashing water with their fists. In conclusion they stand in a circle in the water hand in hand singing songs. Thiruvathira is a day of fasting and the women discard the ordinary rice meal on that day, but only take preparations of chama (Panicum miliaceum) or wheat. Other items of their food include plantain fruits, tender coconuts, et. They also chew betel and redden their lips. Among Namboodiris, Ambalavasis (temple-servants) and high class Nairs, there is a convention that each woman should chew 108 betels on that day. The first Thiruvathira coming after the marriage of a girl is known as puthen Thiruvathira or Poothiruvathira and it is celebrated on a grand scale.

From preshistoric times, Malayalee woman enjoyed an enviable position in the society, and she was practically the mistress of her house. The elevated position she occupied at home and in the society had distinguished her from her neighbors and influenced to a considerable extent the social structure, customs and religious practices of the people. The culmination of this phenomenon is clearly visible in setting apart on of the three great festivals of Kerala viz. Thiruvathira, exclusively for womenfolk, for which a parallel can hardly be found in any section of the Indian Society.

Among Namboodiris and ambalavasis (temple servants) and Nairs who have close association with Namboodiris, there is a custom called Pathirappooochoodal, meaning wearing of flowers of midnight. At the midnight of Thiruvathira, an image of Siva is placed at the central courtyard and flowers, plantains and jaggery are offered to the deity. They then perform Kaikottikali round the deity. Flowers are taken from the offering and worn by them.

THRICHAMBARAM UTSAVAM

Thrichambaram temple dedicated to sree Krishna is located at the Taliparamba village, about 14 Kilometre from pappinisserry railway station. The annual festival at this temple lasts for 14 days from 22nd Kumbaham (February-March)

At Mazhoor (Dharmakulangara) a place near Thrichambaram, there is a temple dedicated to Sree Blarama. On the 22nd night the idol of Blarama is taken out in procession and brought to the Thrichambaram temple. As soon as it reaches there, the festival begins. All other rituals are performed in the temple on an equal footing as Lord Krishna and Balaram are brothers. On the 6th of Meenam, the last day of the festival, the idols of Sree Krishna and Blarama are taken Ceremoniously in the evening. Lord Krishna retreats his abode, that is Thrichambaram temple, while this brother Balarama returns to Dharmakulangara temple, marking the end of the festival. A peculiar feature of this festival is that no elephant is taken in procession.

UTHRA SEEVELI IN THIRUVALIA TEMPLE

Situated about three kilometre from the Thiruvalla railway station, the Sree Vallabha temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The large tank near the temple is believed to have formed naturally. Five other deities have also been installed here. The flag -staff of the temple, about 50 feet tall, is made of granite. It is believed that its bottom touches the water table. On the top of the flag-staff has been installed a three-feet high idol of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.

Ladies are not allowed near the sanctum sanctorum- except on the Vishnu and Thiruvathira days. Annually two festivals are held, one in February-March and another in March-April. The Utharaseeveli festival is celebrated for one day on the Makayiram asterism in Meenam (March-April). Apart from the religious ceremonies, cultural programmes are the highlights of the festival. Among the articles offered in the festival fair, household utensils made of granite have been in great demand.

 
 
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