Candidates take day off from poll campaign to celebrate Thrissur Pooram

The main attractions of the Pooram will be held on April 19 which comprises Ilanjithara Melam and Kudamattam.
Suresh Gopi, VS Sunil Kumar  and K Muraleedharan
Suresh Gopi, VS Sunil Kumar and K Muraleedharan Screengrab/ Manorama News, Mathrubhumi News and Asianet News
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Amid the festive fervour of Thrissur Pooram, Lok Sabha candidates across the political spectrum in Kerala took a break from the election campaign on Friday, April 19 to soak in the celebrations. 

The festival was declared open on April 18 morning after the deity Naithilakkavu Bhagavathy was carried atop elephant Ernakulam Sivakumar, who opened the Thekke Gopura Nada of the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur. Thousands of people from different parts of Kerala came to experience the Pooram despite the boiling sun and the extreme temperatures. 

The main attraction of the Pooram will be held on Friday, which comprises Ilanjithara Melam, a percussion ensemble with the musical instrument ‘Chenda’ and Kudamattam–an exchange of colourful umbrellas between two groups of elephants representing the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples.

VS Sunil Kumar of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said that there was no point in campaigning as most people from Thrissur would be immersed in the celebrations. “Pooram is a part of our life. There are no election campaigns today,” he added.

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate and Congress leader K Muraleedharan said, “All candidates take an off for their campaigns today because, people from Thrissur don't like to discuss any other topics today. Pooram was more enjoyable in my childhood. I used to walk from my home to the ground to experience everything. Now that is not possible.” 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and actor Suresh Gopi said this would be the first time he would be attending the Thrissur Pooram. “Pooram and politics are different. There is no politics in Pooram. Just like everyone else, I am also celebrating this,” he said, adding that people should be safe while enjoying the festival. 

Thrissur Pooram is a centuries-old tradition in Kerala and it’s a symbolic meeting between 10 deities in 10 temples in Thrissur. The participating temples include: Naithalakkavu, Ayyanthole, Karumukku, Lalur, Choorakkattukara, Chembukkavu, Kanimangalam, Panamukkumpally, Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu. Among these, Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu are the main participants of the Pooram and the festival lasts around 36 hours. The festival includes fireworks (Vedikettu) and Kudamattam.

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