Flag hoisted for Theru 2014

It is the time of year we villagers are in festive mood. The stage is set, the flag is hoisted. Today is first day of nine day long celebrations.

Wishing everyone a happy theru 2014.

Theru is the main festivals in Tamil Brahmin Agraharams/Villages in Palakkad. The festivals in villages in Palakkad town start with Kalpathy village and culminates with Thirunellai village's theru festivals.

Flag hoisting/Kodiyettam in Thirunellai is done during month of Chithira/Medam, Uthram star. Uthram star should be present during night time for the kodiyettam. Kodiyettam will be done only on night time. 

The day in which kodiyettam is performed will be Day 1 and until Day 9 every day Ayyappa swamy will come to the gramam in theru. For the 10 days the celebrations are termed as Vasanthothsavam.

The festival is organized to promote unity among the villagers, for celebrating the love to their village deity. This festival is considered to be done to please the deity of the village and in order to get blessings of the deity. 

Before kodiyettam Vasthubali (annara ketti izhukkal) will be performed. Then punyaham will be done. The first day, kodiyettam is done. After kodiyettam kathina (firework) will be cracked. From second day onwards kalabhabhishekam will be performed to deity. Utsava moorthi will be manifested from the swayambu deity, and the Utsava moorthi will be taken in procession in theru during morning and night times everyday till 9th day.

On 5th Day and 7th Day night procession is in Goratham (constructed in 1962 due to cut costs involved in decorating the theru), whereas on other days it is in Vanditheru (Small theru). 6th Day is called Kuttikal kanakku. Chakrathazhvar will also accompany Ayyappa swamy on that day. 8th Day Kuthirayottam is also performed in addition to this. Chakrathazhvar is taken in small artificial horse during this. Villagers carrying the Chakrathazhvar will run short distances to cover the entire village starting from Mantha kovil.

From 2th Day to 8th Day night, prasadams will be distributed to all villagers. On 9th Day Ayyappa swamy will be taken in periya theru (big theru) and Chakrathazhvar will be taken in chinnatheru. Morning the theru will be taken for short distance (on muhurtham time), and the remaining distance will be covered on evening. On the night parvettai will be done where Ayyappa swamy and Chakrathazhvar will be carried on palakkau through the entire village. 10th Day early morning Pallakacheri will be done. On the 10th Day Aarattu will be performed. Chakrathazhvar will be sanctified in river and taken back to temple along with Ayyappa swamy's Utsava moorthi.

Sasthapreethi is another festival which is organized to the deity during Margazhi/Dhanu (December-January).