Guide to the animated Kavadiattom festival of Lord Subramania, the son of Lord Siva, the destroyer



Kaavadiyaattam is a votive art dance performed only in Subramanya temples all over Kerala as a highly important ritual during festival. It is performed by males only.

The performers robed in saffron color smear sacred ash called Vibhooti all over the body. Each performer carries on his shoulder-back a Kaavadi (a big bow). Kavaadies used are of different sizes and shapes. The Kaavadi varieties are called Ambalakaavadi (with peacock feathers, mirror cut pieces and artificial objects ornamented and in tower shape and multi-storey having height up to 18 feet) and Pookkaavadi (decorated with multi-colour plastic flowers with many branches sprouted around).

Performance The dancers numbering up to 25/30 in each variety twist and surge in measured steps and rows. The dance gains momentum with the peaking up of music flawed from Chenda, Udukku and Nadaswaram (a wind instrument) in the large company of devotees and spectators. Kaavadiyaattam is performed usually in day times.

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