Elephant Procession in Chinakkathoor Pooram
Chinakkathoor Pooram is enlisted amongst the most entertaining and enthusiastic celebrations of India. A procession of 33 exquisitely ornamented tuskers leading the crowd accompanied by lights and lamps forms a colourful and spectacular view during the evenings. Drums are beaten along with the procession and songs are sung. It reaches to different houses for wishing good luck to the families. When the devotees are gathered from different houses, the procession reaches the temple where a ritual ceremony is performed followed by traditional programs. Adorned models of kaala (bull) and kuthira (horse) are brought to the temple in a ceremonious manner. The elephant procession marks the beginning of the festive season which welcomes the biggest festival of South India, Onam.
Features of Chinakkathoor Pooram
Diverse traditional and amusing shows form the prime attraction of the festival, especially during the nights for which the people await eagerly. The abundance of exquisite traditional art and folklores including Thattinmelkooth, Kudakkali, Kumbhamkali, Kumbhamkali, Pulikkali, Thira and many others can be witnessed in Chinakkathoor Pooram amidst a pulsating ambience filled with enthusiasm. Tholppavakkoothu refers to a ritualistic shadow puppet show which is showcased at the temple premises in the evenings. Enchanting music and fascinating performances on the soil of Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy temple is a pure delight to the senses. Ox play called Kaalakali, beautiful performances of Pulikkali, and loud sounds of drums called Para add to the charm of the festival. The lively crowd and illuminated Panthals present the real essence of the festival. The festival unites people and promotes love, harmony and amity among various communities of South India.
During the daytime of the festival a huge gathering in the temple premises for celebrating the festival irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It is believed that through the celebration people bid adieu to their struggles and crisis. The occasion invites people from distant parts; however the areas from where people predominantly hail include North Mangalam, South Mangalam, Meetna, Erakkottiri, Palappuram, Pallarmangalam and Ottapalam. The people of these regions contribute a lot in making the festival grand and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.