|NelluNira: Celebrated in August - September. This is a
harvest festival of Kerala adopted by Iyers. After the major harvest of paddy,
bunches of paddy are brought to the house and some are pasted on the main doors
as well as the granary box called Pathayam. All members of the house shout Nira,
Nirayo Nira, meaning full and let it be full.
Puthari: Celebrated in August - September. After the paddy harvest, rice is just
formed and is brought to the house from the field and de-husked. A sweet dish
called pal payasam (pudding made with rice & milk) is prepared using this new
rice. This festival also is an adoption of Kerala practice.
Navarathri: Celebrated in August - September. A doll exhibition called
Kolu is arranged in every house. The women folk invite other women folk of the
village to see the Kolu in their house. Normally the visitors come well dressed
and sing before the Kolu. Sweet/savory dishes are prepared daily and distributed
to the guests. It is also a custom to dress the children in mythical characters
like Krishna, Radar and so on. On the eighth day, all the books in the house are
arranged before the Kolu, covered by a silk cloth and worshipped. These are
opened on the Vijaya Dasami day and all members of the house start by writing on
rice and reading their favourite book. It is the day on which, kids are
initiated into formal education also. In the temples, the community celebrates
this festival in a gala manner. Elephant processions. Drums. Panchavadyams,
burning of crackers and common feast are very usual. The lamps round the temple
are lit on all days. In some villages the Prasadams are prepared in very large
quantities and distributed to each and every Brahmin house.
MahaSivarathri: This is not a festival in right sense of the term but a
ritual. No adult used to take food made of rice and wake up through out the
night. Young girls go round the village collecting oil for the temple in some
villages. But it is more common during Gokulashtami. Sivarathri is celebrated is
a major festival in Aluva, in Ernakulam district, where traditionally an
exhibition is put up in the banks of Periyar near the Siva temple. Thus, Aluva
Sivarathri Manalppuram is very famous.
Ramanavami: This is a festival to celebrate the birthday of Rama and is
observed by distributing Paanagam (Jaggery water) and Sambharam (water mixed
with butter milk)
Vishukkani: After Onam this is the most important
festival is Vishukani. It also the Malayalam New Year day. During the previous
night vegetables which must include red cucumber fruit and snake gourd and
fruits which must include jack fruit and mango and flowers which must include
Kani Konnai along with rice, dhal, gold coin, silver coin etc are arranged
before a big mirror. This is called Vishu Kani. The mother of the house wakes up
early morning and then sees the Kani first in the morning. Then one by one other
families are woken up and taken before the Kani. The elders give cash presents
to all the youngsters (called Vishu Kani Nettam) and all the people in the house
wear new clothes and burst crackers. After this there is a grand Kerala type
Janmashtami : the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great
devotion in the August/September months, on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the
8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon, in the whole of north
India.Temples and homes are beautifully decorated and lit. An attractive feature
of the celebrations are cribs & other
decorations depicting stories of Lord Krishna's childhood. There are five main "jhankis"
of Janmashtami which depict the entire sequence of events from Lord Krishna's
birth to his being discovered Krishna's birth to his being discovered in
Gokul.Krishna's birth to his being discovered in Gokul.The "jhankis" include the
birth of Krishna in jail, Vasudev carrying Krishna to safety across the river
Yamuna amidst thunder and lightning, Vasudev's return to the jail, Kansa killing
Yashoda's daughter and finally the little Krishna in the cradle in Gokul. "Jhankis"
are created out of dolls dressed up as kids, men and women with lehangas,
chunnis, dhotis & kurtas. Raslila of every type are also performed -
Janmlila, Shankarlila, Putnalila and Naglila. In the evening bhajans are sung
which end at midnight, the auspicious moment when Lord Krishna was born. There
after arti is done, prasad distributed and flowers showered on the idol.
Pradhosha pooja is one of the most important among the poojas performed to the
Graceful Lord Shiva. In Shukla Paksha (15 moon days from New moon to Full moon)
and Krishna Paksha (15 moon days from Full moon to New moon) the evening of the
trayodasi (thirteenth moon day) between 4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. is called
Pradhosha. It comes once in fifteen moon days. Pradhosha time is especially
meant for praying Lord Shiva. Praying in that time will free us from out sins
and gives moksha finally (hence the name Pradhosha). During pradoSha time a
special type of circumambulating called soma sUtra pradaxiNam(1) is done.
Once Dhevas and Asuras using the serpent Vasuki and the hill Mandhara were
trying to get Amrutham (nector) from the Kseerabthi (milk ocean). Then the
terrible poison Halahalam came up. All got frightened and pleaded to Lord Shiva
for rescue. Being the peak of mercy Lord Shiva ate that poison. Then as per His
order they resumed their effort to get Amrutham. They got it on Dhwadhasi
(twelfth moon day). Without praying and thanking the God, by whom they got
Amrutham, Devas started dancing and celebrating their victory.
On thrayodhasi (thirteenth moon day) they realised their sin of not praying the
God and pleaded for forgiveness. The pleased graceful Lord Shiva forgave them
and danced between the horns of the Nandhi (holy bull). That time is called
Pradhosham. Whoever prays Lord Shiva in that time, Lord Shiva fulfills their
wishes and give them mukthi.