Thrissur Pooram Image Source: IANS

Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram is a festive celebration of culture and tradition in the Thrissur district of Kerala, held at Vadakkumnathan Temple. Held annually on the day when the Moon enters the Pooram nakshatra during the Medam month of the Malayalam Calendar, Thrissur Pooram usually falls in the months of April and May on the Gregorian Calendar.

Thrissur Pooram 2023 was on April 30 Sunday

Thrissur Pooram happens to be the biggest Pooram celebrations in Asia with loud percussion music, rows of vibrant parasols, and a grand pageantry of elephants caparisoned with nettipattam (head ornament). People stand witness to the elaborate band of artists who play for over four hours for the ilanjithara melam, representing the majestic musical tunes of Kerala. More than 200 instrumentalists participate in this ensemble whose music invigorates the thousands who gather at the ground.

Sequined and lavishly toned parasols are changed to these tunes in a ceremony known as kudamattom, or the rhythmic exchange of umbrellas. People in close association with the temple mount on top of the decorated elephants for this ceremony. This event is mostly held as a competition between various temples of the district. Every year, the nettipattam and the parasols are crafted from scratch, further heightening the competitive spirit.

Colorful parasols freshly woven and prepared for Thrissur Pooram. Image Source: IANS

Colorful parasols freshly woven and prepared for Thrissur Pooram.

The festivities of Thrissur Pooram go incomplete without the magnificent rounds of fireworks. Rows of elephants mount with people holding parasols, aalavattom (circular shields bordered with peacock feathers), and venchamaram (white flowing tufts) competing in the irresistible tunes of the ilanjithara melam is a treat for the eyes.

Important Timings On Thrissur Pooram 2023

SunriseApril 30, 2023 5:58 AM
SunsetApril 30, 2023 6:49 PM
MoonriseApril 30, 2023 2:13 PM
Pooram Nakshatram BeginsApril 30, 2023 3:30 PM
Poorva Phalguni Nakshatram EndsMay 01, 2023 5:51 PM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More

History of Thrissur Pooram

The Maharaj of Cochin, Rama Varma Kunjipilla Thampuran, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran, brought together the temple festival that we now celebrate as the Thrissur Pooram. Long before the genesis of Thrissur Pooram, the Aarattupuzha Pooram was the biggest Poorams in Kerala.

Temples from in and around the district gathered for processions with thidambu or kolam (decorated image or a replica of deities) until one year, most temples were denied access to the procession since they were delayed. They were delayed following impermissible weather. Such denial angered most temple authorities, who approached Sakthan Thampuran and raised the issue.

Sakthan Thampuran then organized an entirely new temple festival by bringing together around ten temples that were situated in the vicinity of the Vadakkumnathan temple. He invited these temples to pay their respects to the presiding deity of the Vadakkumnathan temple, Lord Shiva, and the festival was carried out to be ceremonial ever since.

The Kudamattam ceremony of Thrissur Pooram Image Source: IANS

The Kudamattam ceremony of Thrissur Pooram

The Festivities of Thrissur Pooram

The festivities of the Pooram begin with the kodiyettam, or the flag hoisting ceremony. The flag is hoisted on a post made out of Arecanut tree cut by a carpenter in a ritualistic fashion. The carpenter or the dessathe ashan is handed over this role by heredity. The carpenter is the only person to perform the ritual of bhoomipooja, or paying respects to the land, and this happens to be the only time when a non-Brahmin does puja in the temple. The ceremony of kodiyettam is done seven days prior to the day of the Pooram.

Following the kodiyettam ceremony, on the day before Pooram, people stand witness to the Sample Fireworks ceremony, inducing the fervor and spirit of the Pooram that is about to unfurl. Thrissur Pooram is a much-anticipated temple festival that breeds expectations and enthusiasm each year.

Around ten temples in the vicinity of the Vadakkumnathan temple participate in the festival of Thrissur Pooram, who arrive with their deities. These temples are Thiruvambady Bhagavati Temple, Paramekkavu Bhagavati Temple, Karamukku Bhagavati Temple, Nethilakkavu Bhagavati Temple, Ayyanthole Bhagavati Temple, Laloor Bhagavati Temple, Choorakkattukavu Bhagavati Temple, Chembukkavu Bhagavati Temple, Panamukkumpally Sastha, and Kanimangalam Sastha.

Thechikottukavu Ramachandran bearing the idol of Neithilakkavilamma to announce the commencement of the Thrissur Pooram Image Source: IANS

Thechikottukavu Ramachandran bearing the idol of Neithilakkavilamma to announce the commencement of the Thrissur Pooram

The day of the Pooram begins with the Pooravilambaram, when the elephant carrying the idol of the deity ‘Neithilakkavilamma’ comes to the ground from the South gate of the Vadakkumnathan temple. Following this goes the first round of fireworks and, later, the individual poorams of each of the participating temples. The second round of fireworks, the main highlight of the evening, happens at the prime hour of the event. People are left dumbstruck by the swirl of colors that paint the night sky.

Thrissur Pooram is concluded with the farewell ceremony that is held at noon the next day.

Thrissur Pooram harbors harmony and unity among people, regardless of religion and boundaries. People from within and beyond the country attend the festival to behold the magnificence that is this Pooram. Cherished in much grandeur and enthusiasm, Thrissur Pooram is a celebration that represents the rich blend of tradition and heritage.

Thrissur Pooram festival dates between 2020 & 2030

2020Sunday, 3rd of May
2021Friday, 23rd of April
2022Wednesday, 13th of April
2023Monday, 1st of May
2024Friday, 19th of April
2025Wednesday, 7th of May
2026Monday, 27th of April
2027Saturday, 17th of April
2028Thursday, 4th of May
2029Wednesday, 25th of April
2030Monday, 15th of April