Origin of Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku
The festival has its origin in uthrampattu which is a form of ritual singing. Uthrampattu was later converted into Uthramvilakku in its present form about 150 years ago.
Celebration of Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku
The festival is celebrated on the uthram day of the Meenam month of the Malayalam calendar. Firstly, a flag is hoisted then a small pooram ceremony is performed on three elephants. Over the succeeding six days the idol of Lord Bhagavathy is taken around the notable Perumanam village astride an elephant. In the journey, the ceremonial elephant participates in pooram ceremonies in different temples and in the traditional elephant race at Piddikaparambu. This unique race witnesses participation of different deities from different temples.
Once Lord Bhagavathy returns from the town of Arattupuzha, the ceremonial reception of the deity, lamp-lighting ceremony and nadaswara recitals are held. After all these rituals, the deity is led in procession outside the sanctum sanctorum with the accompaniment of Valia Pani Orchestra. The idol is then hoisted atop a huge tusker which is joined by four other deities from nearby temples including Thaikatusserry, Chakkamkulangara, Namkulam and Chittachatakudam. This is followed by elaborate recitations, on various musical instruments which include Keli, kombu pattu and Kuzhal Pattu. The festival lasts for nearly five hours and it culminates with a brief but vibrant display of fireworks. This is followed by an Idakka pradakshinam which is a ritualistic circumambulation. People observe Idakka pradakshinam with the belief that their participation would help them get rid of ailments. By sunrise, the Bhagavathy sets for the padikkal pooram. This is the only time in a year that the idol of Bhagavathy goes out through the western door. Once the Padikkal pooram is over, the ceremonial send off of the other four deities takes place. The festival ends with kodikutthu.
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