On the day of Makara Bharani the mahotsav (ceremony) starts with regular poojas and after deeparadhana there will be Ooranma Parayeduppu and by receiving kaineetapara Parakkezhunallathu of Ezhamkulathamma of the current year starts.
Behalf of Makara Bharani Kalemezhuthpattu and it continues with most important Vilekezhunullip of Mahadevi is conducted. The fasting of Kannithathookar (Performers of Garudan Thookkam undergo a strict penance for 41 days, abstaining from non-veg foods, intoxicants and worldly pleasures, and prepare their body and mind ready to perform the ritual.) and Thookapayattu studies for the Thooka Vazhipad also starts along with this.
Parakkezhunallathu & Thookkapayattu Studies
The Bharani festival celebrated in the month of Kumbham is quite an event to the people of this locality and neighbouring places. This festival celebrated with pomp and gaiety is now been widely known as the Kumbhamela of South. Thousands of people from different parts of Kerala and abroad visit Ezhamkulam to participate in this mega event.
The Kumbabharani Mahotsavam of Ezhamkulathamma starts on the day of Aswathi, Bharani and Karthika (all are star signs of Malayalam). On the day of Revathy morning the Thookakar will go to Mannadi Temple and they come back in front of Ezhamkulathamma and do the Thookapayattu and there ends the Thookapayattu of that year.
On the day of Aswathi morning it starts with Malakuda Procession and in night Kavaladiyanthiram is also conducted. On the day of Bharani morning the utsav day of Maha Devi starts by important pooja such as Navakam pooja and at the evening collecting of Kalapodi by saying the Kara's name to see the Thiruazhunalath for Kettukazhcha and continues to Kalamezhutth Pattu also conducted. Ezhamkulam Kettukazhcha, conducted every year on the Bharani Nakshathram of Malayalam month 'Kumbham - It is probably the most amazing cultural visual spectacle in Kerala.
The event is an offering of the people of Ezhamkulam to their beloved deity known for her spontaneous blessings on true devotees as a mark of gratitude, devotion, unflinching faith, and for showering prosperity and protection to their lives. 'Kettukazhcha' displays deftly sculpted and decorated forms of 'temple cars known as 'Kuthiras' and 'Kalas'.
On the evening of Kumbha bharani, the Kettukazhchas are dragged to the temple by hundreds of people, and are paraded at the paddy field in front of the temple. After Devi's Ezhunnellippu to bless the Kettukazhchas and people.
Historians attribute the concept of 'Kettukazhchas' - similar to the architecture of the 'Buddha tradition in square, rectangular and pyramid shapes, to the remnants of the Buddha culture which was widely prevalent in the Central Travancore region a few centuries ago.
On the day of Karthika at 3 am it starts with Ezhunullath, Alavilakin Garudan thookam (eagle hanging), Vazhipadu Kambam and thereafter starts Vazhipadu Thookam is offered by devotees for fulfill the needs and for santaana labdhi. Ezhamkulam Thookkam is annually held in the Kumbham month as per traditional Malayalam calendar followed in Kerala. The ritual is performed to please the Goddess worshipped in the shrine and is undertaken by a few devotees after doing the necessary purification rituals and vratam. Thookkakaar are pierced with a shaft hook on his back known as Choondakuthal and hung in a tall grandly decorated and lighted wooden pedestal and taken around the temple by the devotees. Hundreds of devotees participate in the Garudan Thookam festival.
Kettukazcha, Garudan Thookkam & Aalvilakku