‘Aswathy Kavu Theendal' will be performed at the Kodungalloor Bhagavathy Temple on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of devotees are expected to take part in the ceremony. Dressed in red, the devotees, called ‘komarams', will dance in wild abandon to earthy songs.
Kodungalloor Thampuran (head of the royal family of erstwhile Kodungalloor), patron of the temple, will not take part in the rites this year following the death of a relative. He has given the nod for the ceremony. His approval is mandatory. The ‘komarams' who visit the temple every year for ‘Kavu theendal' are mostly farm labourers from different parts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad.
They will hurl sticks at the temple, and this will signify the ‘Kavu Theendal' ceremony. A three-hour puja will precede ‘Kavu Theendal.'
The shrine is believed to be a memorial built by a Chera king to Kannaki, heroine of Ilamkovadigal's Tamil classic Silappathikaram. The place was said to be known as ‘Vanji' during the Chera rule.
This post-harvest festival is said to be an assertion of Dalit identity. ‘Revathy Vilakkukal' (lamps) were lit at the temple on Saturday.