Thrissur Celebrates Onam In Its Style

Though cultural festivals are arranged mostly in the capital city of Kerala during Onam celebrations, the cultural capital of Kerala also has its own modes to celebrate the state festival. Pulikali (also known as Kaduvakali) and Kummatti are the trademarks of Onam celebrations of Thrissur. Districts with backwaters celebrate Onam by arranging boat races. Both these Onam plays are arranged by desams and normally 8 desams, representing ‘Ashtadikk’ participate in this show.


Kummattis are believed to be ‘Bhoothgana’ (associates) of Lord Siva who reach Kerala to know about the whereabouts of subjects. Kummattis normally arrive before Onam. Thrissur is famous for Kummattis, where participants use a special type of grass called Kummatti to decorate themselves and they also wore expensive masks of Hanuman, Lakshmi, Ganapathi, Ayyappa, Brahma, Siva, Indra and many Hindu gods. The highlight of Kummattikali is ‘Thalla’ who is the entertainer of the group – a person dressed as an old woman who wore brinjals as ear rings and dance in a unique way to make everyone laugh. Only men dress themselves as Kummattis. Different desams arrange their own group and they organize together at one place. Happy news is that from next year onwards all kummattis will gather together on Swaraj round on Atham day, the first day of Onam celebrations.


Kaduvakali is famous all over the world. In this Onam play too, only men participate and the group may include both 5 year child known as Kuttipuli and old men with age 70+. Participants wear colourful tiger and leopard masks and also use colours to decorate the whole body with paint. The participants resemble tigers and leopards and they dance according to the tunes of the music played. Fat and bellied tigers have high demands and they entertain the crowd by dancing to vibrant tunes of drums. They wore a belt of bells as well. Similar to Kummatti kali, Pulikali is also arranged by different resident associations (desams) and they gather together at Swaraj Round on the last day of Onam celebrations. Though cultural organizations and decorations of mansions is only less in Thrissur during Onam season, Kaduvakali and Kummattikali makes Thrissur special as well.

Article Posted By : Sandhya RanilView All Articles

Kummatti is my favourite

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Keywords :
pulikali , Kummatti


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