Thrissur Pooram - A Unique Temple Festival in Kerala, India

Thrissur Pooram 2021 – Observing the Festivities with COVID-19 Restrictions

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 during Thrissur Pooram, the state government has ordered that anybody under the age of 45 who attends the festival must have a Covid negative certificate obtained via an RT-PCR examination.

Members of the pooram organising committee, journalists, percussionists, and other festival participants are all subject to the order. It should not apply to the public who will be watching the celebration. In the presence of the chief secretary, a meeting agreed to hold Thrissur Pooram without reducing the festivities.

The meeting suggested that the devaswoms vaccinate everyone interested in the festival, including temple committee members, percussion musicians, Cochin Devaswom Board officials, Thrissur Corporation sanitation staff, pooram volunteers enlisted by the devaswoms, police officers, and journalists. To participate in the festival, the others must bring their Covid negative certificate and send a copy of it, as well as a copy of their Aadhaar card and their phone number.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (Peso) authorised the manufacture of explosives for the Thrissur pooram and fireworks show on Thursday. The festival, which will take place from April 17 to 24, has been granted approval. On April 24, there will be a large firework show. On April 21, there will be a demonstration of fireworks. Pooram fireworks, according to the organisers, will be conducted in accordance with all regulations.

The Historic Festival of Thrissur Pooram 

Pooram is a one-of-a-kind festival celebrated in Kerala, India. Kerala is one of India's most interesting regions, having been the site of the country's first stronghold of Christianity and a region where no single kind of Hinduism reigns supreme. Both Saivite (centered on the deity Shiva) and Vaishnava (centered on the deity Vishnu) religions are strong, but worship of the Mother Goddess as a manifestation of shakti energy is widespread, and there are various temples dedicated to the nagas, or snake gods. 

Near their houses, many people have holy snake groves. Pooram is an annual temple festival in Kerala that takes place after the summer harvest.

The elephants have become a symbol of the festivals, but on a metaphysical basis, they represent an assembly of the various gods of the thousands of temples in a major display of Hindu ecumenicity. Thrissur hosts the biggest and most popular of all Pooram festivals, though this was not always the case. The largest such meeting in the past was at Arattupuzha, some 14 kilometres away. However, owing to heavy rains that disrupted their journey in the late 18th century, the members of the Arattupuzha Pooram were late for the festival.

They were turned away from the festival. Thrissur's tribal governor, offended, arranged a separate festival. His Highness Ramavarma Raja, also known as Sakthan Thampuran (1751–1805), became Maharaja of Kochi in 1790, and he went on to support the Thrissur Pooram and turn it into a mass festival. He arranged the festival in its current form in front of Vadakkumnathan, the area's oldest temple, with the citizens of the ten main temples as the primary participants.

With professional artists and the use of a cadre of elephants, the festival has developed and secularized over the years, particularly after Indian independence. The Vadakkumnathan Temple, situated in the heart of Thrissur, is the focal point of the Thrissur Pooram, which takes place in the month of Medom on the local calendar (April–May on the Common Era calendar). Each of the ten temples that officially participate sends some elaborately painted elephants on procession from their temple to the Vadakkumnathan temple, accompanied by drummers and musicians.

The 36-hour festival features parasol shows, theatrical productions, concerts, and a multi-hour firework show. The friendly competition between the temples, which are split geographically into two opposing divisions, builds interest in the festival by competing to create the most dazzling fireworks and the most colorful elephant decorations.

The temples try to procure the best animals available in southern India for the festival, which allows each party to show up to 15 elephants. The elephants are lavishly adorned to carry the deities that will be gathered for the festival. The festival hits its pinnacle at 2:30 a.m., when the final fireworks show and the presentation of the 30 elephants take place. In Kerala, there are a host of Pooram celebrations, but none compare to the one in Thrissur.