When it rained and threatened to ruin the pooram celebrations at the end of a year’s wait on Friday, people of Thrissur refused to give in and instead turned the rain into a celebration. For, rain or shine, nothing can dampen the pooram spirit.

And, Thrissur Pooram, collective pride of the people of Thrissur, was celebrated in all its glory, fun, noise, and dust.

Daring spells of heavy rain, lakhs of people packed into the Thekkinkadu maidan and the city streets to get drenched and celebrate every bit of the pooram.

Though hearts of pooram aficionados sank when the rain clouds gathered in the morning, the rain took a break for major events such as Madathil Varavu, Illanjithara melam, and Kudamattom.

Thrissur Pooram is a mix of religious conservatism and carnival spirit.

The 30-hour event provides a heady mix of age-old rituals, fun, colour, and music. Anything is permitted except tampering with the tradition.

Processions

The major events of the pooram are the processions of idols from the neighbouring temples to Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple.

Crowds started gathering on the streets from dawn on Friday when the processions carrying the deities from participating temples - Kanimangalam Sastha, Karamukku Bhagavathy, Neythilakkavu Bhagavathy, Lalur Bhagavathy, Panamukkampalli Sastha, Choorakkattukavu Durga, Ayyathole Karthyayani, and Chembukkavu Karthyayani - were taken out to Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple.

Madathil Varavu, in which the thidambu (idol) of the Thiruvambadi Bhagavathy is taken from the Thiruvambadi temple to Naduvil Madom at Pazhayanadakkavu, was one of the main events in the morning.

The procession of the Paramekkavu Bhagavathy began around 12.30 p.m.

Percussion maestros are the centre of attraction on the Pooram day. One will get to enjoy choicest rhythms of Pandi Melam and Panchavadyam at the pooram.

Madathil Varavu ceremony by the Thiruvambadi Devaswom, which features Panchavadyam, and Pramekkavu Devaswom’s Melam under the Ilanji tree are the highlights.

While maestro Annamanada Parameswaran Marar led the Madathil Varavu Panchavadyam, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar was at the helm of Ilanjithara Melam.

There was heavy rush to watch the Kudamattom, the spectacular show in which parasols of myriad numbers in numerous designs and colours were exchanged by people atop the elephants. Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu devaswoms participate in the friendly competition.

The city has been in a festive mood since the opening of the pooram exhibition. However, the “sample fireworks”, the first round of fireworks in connection with the pooram, two days ago was cancelled due to rain.

Thousands of fireworks fans are keeping their fingers crossed, as the threat of rain still looms large over the pooram. They fear the rain will play spoilsport once again during the main fireworks display, which will be held early on Saturday.

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