The Thrissur Pooram, considered to be the mother of all temple festivals in Kerala, will be held this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. The government has allowed low key celebrations for the Pooram, with all COVID-19 protocols in place.
The Pooram will be held on April 23 this year.
The fireworks and Pooram displays will be held as usual and 15 tuskers have been allowed for the procession and the kudamattam (umbrella changing) ceremony. However, the number of stalls at the site and around the Swaraj Round will be reduced by half. The district administration has also asked for five feet distance between two stalls. The festival sees a surge in sales and is a good time for local and street vendors to sell their wares.
According to reports, only 35,000 people in total will be allowed to see the displays which will open between April 7 and April 10. The displays will be placed at the same place until May. The festival generally draws people in lakhs, including those from other districts, states and countries.
There will also be no changes in the way rituals such as the Ilanjithara Melam, the Kudamattam and the Madathil Varavu (ceremonies connected to the Thrissur Pooram which draw huge crowds) will be held this year.
Last year, the Pooram was cancelled for the first time since its inception due to the coronavirus pandemic. Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar had added that the festival was cancelled due to the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown until May 3. The poojas and rituals were conducted in the presence of a maximum of five people in the temples. Ceremonies including the Kudamattam, which attracts big crowds, were not conducted. The decision was taken with the consensus of temple representatives of all participating temples and following a discussion with the state and district authorities.