Festival fever begins in Thrissur with chamayam, exhibitions of Pooram paraphernalia, including elephant accoutrements.
The exhibitions are held at the CMS School auditorium and the Paramekkavu agrasala.
The exhibits include nettipattam, a gold ornament that adorns the elephant's forehead; venchamaram, a hand fan used by mahouts during Kudamattam; and alavattam, an artefact made of peacock feathers.
Thrissur Pooram is unimaginable without Kudamattam and chamayam. Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady Devaswoms unfurl specially-prepared colourful umbrellas to the applause of spectators.
Each Devaswom keeps details of its specially-crafted umbrellas a secret. The rest of the umbrellas are displayed at chamayam exhibitions. Months before the festival, the Devaswoms start making ‘Muthukkuda', colourful umbrellas.
They are made of silk and satin, and laced with white metal and sequins.
The secular character of Thrissur Pooram is striking. For two decades, a Christian artisan has been involved in gold-plating of elephant accoutrements for Pooram.