Kerala

When parasols made a political statement at Thrissur Pooram festival

Colourful parade: The Paramekkavu and the Thiruvambadi temples displaying innovative parasols of Lord Ayyappa and India map with a jawan in the middle.

Colourful parade: The Paramekkavu and the Thiruvambadi temples displaying innovative parasols of Lord Ayyappa and India map with a jawan in the middle.  

They sported images of Army personnel and Lord Ayyappa

The Thrissur ‘pooram’ festival concluded on Tuesday with the ceremonial farewell ritual ‘upacharam chollippiriyal.’

The idols of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady, the main participating temples, were taken back to the respective temples after the ceremony.

The last day’s festivities are called Thattakathe Pooram, meaning pooram for the local people.

Friendly competition

All the ceremonies of Monday were re-enacted on Tuesday. The main fireworks were held around 4 a.m. Thousands witnessed the colourful show.

The ‘kudamattom’ ceremony (exchange of umbrellas), in which the participating temples display colourful parasols in a friendly competition, drew special attention this time as it featured socio-political themes that have sparked intense debates in recent times.

It was Paramekkavu that first displayed parasol in three colours of the Indian flag with the image of Army personnel in it. Thiruvambadi’s replay was a cut out of India’s map in three colours with a jawan in uniform in the middle.

Both temples also displayed innovative parasols of Lord Ayyappa. Some in the crowd welcomed it with ‘Namajapa’ slogans. If Paramekkavu parasol showed Lord Ayyappa in a sitting posture, Thiruvamabadi’s had the image of Ayyappa astride the tiger. It is the first time in ‘pooram’ that such political statements have been made by temples.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:29:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/when-parasols-made-a-political-statement-at-pooram/article27133943.ece

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