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.
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.
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.
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 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.