Preparations for the Pulikkali performance on September 19 have begun in full swing in the city.
On the fourth Onam day, hundreds of people, wearing tiger masks, with dots and stripes painted on their bodies, will prance around on the city roads.
A carnival spirit will grip the city as tens of thousands of people throng the Swaraj Round to watch the ‘tigers’ in action.
The Pullikali artistes, who will be dancing to the beat of drums, will have the face of a smiling or scowling tiger painted on their bellies.
The paint used to draw the big cat is a mixture of tempera powder paint, varnish and enamel. Tableaux and pantomime will accompany the ‘tigers’.
This year, seven teams are participating in the Pulikkali celebrations, which will bring the curtains down on Onam celebrations in Thrissur.
Vivekananda Seva Samithy, Punkunnam centre, Kanattukara Desam, Pothole Lane, Youth Club-Mylipadam, Keeramkulangara and East Fort are the competing teams.
The winning team will be presented a trophy and a cash award of Rs.25,000. The runners-up will bag a trophy and Rs.15,000. The second runners-up will win a trophy and Rs.10,000.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Pulikkali Samithy and Thrissur Corporation decided to increase the financial aid for the artistes to Rs.65,000. An amount of Rs.40,000 will be given as advance.
The meeting also decided to install spot lights at Naduvilal, Naikkanal, Paramekkavu, Bini, Thekke Gopura Nada, Kuruppam Road Junction, Hospital Rod Junction and High Road Junction.
The participating teams will organise an exhibition of ‘puli chamayams’ (accoutrements) on September 17. Mayor I.P Paul hoisted the ceremonial flag for the Pulikkali on Sunday.