Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic Gods and Goddesses of neighboring provinces met together for a day of celebrations.
Trichur Pooram, the Pooram of all Poorams, the most spectacular festival of this cultural capital celebrated at Vadakkumnathan Temple every year during April-May.
Though non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, Kerala’s grandest temple pageantry, which includes colourful processions of caparisoned elephants and a midnight fireworks display, parasol exchanges, drum concerts can be witnessed from the crowded streets of Trichur.
Trichur Pooram, the mother of all temple festivals in the state, is essentially one of spectacles. The two devaswams- Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu- explore and exploit every source at their command to make this annual festival a memorable one. It is celebrated with a colourful procession of caparisoned elephants, parasol exchanges, drum concerts, display of pyro-techniques and refreshing scenes of public participation. During the festival season, Trichur, popularly known as the temple town turns into a town of colour, music and mirth. The Pooram programmes extending about 36 hours begins with the ezhunellippu of the Kanimangalam Shasta in the morning followed by the ezhunnellippu of the other six minor temples on the Pooram Day.
The ezhunnellippu programme which is considered to be a ritual symbolising the visit of the Devi from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples to the Vadakkunnathan temple. A major event of the Pooram festival is the Panchavadyam in which about 200 artistes from the disciplines of Thimila, Maddalam, Trumpet, Cymbal and Edakka participate.
Another major event of the pooram begins with the setting off of the ‘Pandemelam’ at noon in which about 200 artistes in the disciplines of drum, trumpets, pipe and cymbal participate.
The grand finale of this festival of colour, music and fire works would be marked with a function of bidding farewell to the deities of the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams in front of the Western Gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple.
A noteworthy feature of the pooram festival is the participation of a cross section of people and elephants. The pachyderms emerge out in all their regalia with newly fabricated caparisons. They make their way through the milling crowds drawn from all religions, castes and creed to the accompaniment of ecstatic percussion ensembles. The exhibition of the paraphernalia of elephant decorative, commonly known as ‘Aana Chamayal pradarsanam’, the spectacular show of ‘Kudamattom’ in which parasols of myriad numbers, designs and colours are exchanged by the people atop the elephants.
The Pooram festival is concluded with a spectacular fire works display, which is held in the wee hours of the day after the Pooram. The Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams present many innovative patterns and varieties of fire works which make spectators going into raptures. This famous and mighty display of the magnificent display of fireworks add to the popularity of the Pooram festival.
The most striking feature of the Trichur Pooram is its very secular nature. The Muslim and Christian Communities actively take part in it and they play a very prominent role in the very conduct of the festival. Most of the pandals are the craft work of the experts from the Muslim community.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.