Kerala cancels its biggest festival for the first time ever due to COVID-19 lockdown

Martinez

Kerala cancels its biggest festival for the first time ever due to COVID-19 lockdown

Kerala won’t celebrate its biggest festival, Thrissur Pooram, which was slated for May 2 this year. This has been decided considering the extension of lockdown imposed by the Government of India to control the spike in COVID-19 infection cases.

On April 15, a ministerial-level meeting was organised in Thrissur, which was attended by the representatives of all the presiding temples. Agriculture Minister, V.S. Sunil Kumar, said that it is not feasible to organise Pooram celebrations by maintaining social distancing and other norms of the ongoing lockdown. Therefore, it has been decided to conduct the main rituals of the festival in respective shrines with not more than five persons in attendance. All other festivities related to the festival have been cancelled.

All you wanted to know about Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram is an annual festival started by Sakthan Thampuran, the 18th century king of Kochi. The festival lasts for 36 hours, and the main festivities are organised at the Thekkinkadu grounds.

Kerala cancels its biggest festival for the first time ever due to COVID-19 lockdown

Thrissur Pooram is about the meeting of deities of 10 temples across Kerala. Yet, only Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples organise the main events now. The highlights of the festival are grand display of caparisoned elephants, percussion music, kudamattom ceremony which features fast and synchronised changes of vibrant-hued parasols.

Participants also look forward to Ilanjithara melam (fair), which involves playing the traditional instruments of Kerala. Countless attendees tune their hand movements as per the rhythm generated by these instruments. The fair is wrapped up with a spectacular fireworks show.

Way back in 1962, during the Indo-China war, the Thrissur Pooram was not cancelled but organised with just one elephant. However, during the misery unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is for the first time in its history that this festival stands cancelled.

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