neelamperoor padayani ( July - August every year)
This 18-day long ritualistic festival Pooram Padayani celebrations is conducted at the palli bhagavathy temple at Neelamperoor. The temple has a history of about 1700 years.
Location of the temple: Neelamperoor, bordering Alappuzha district, nearly 17 km from Kottayam town, about 3 Kms west of Kurichy Out post in Kottayam-Changanacherry M.C.Road
The annual celebrations, held to commemorate the victory march of Goddess Kali after subduing Darika, the demon, is rich in Dravidian imageries. There is an influence of Buddhist culture in the celebration.
The celebrations begin on Avittom, the day after Onam, with devotees ceremoniously setting the coconut leaves on fire with the flames received from the priest.
On the first 17 days, different padayani dance forms such as chootu padyani, poomaram, and kudapadayani are performed. The kudaneerthu ceremony is performed on the eighth day. From the ninth to the 13th day ‘plavilakkolam’ ceremony is conducted.
The celebrations reach a crescendo on the 17th and 18th days with the arrival of ‘annams’ (swans) made of plantain stems, tender leaves of coconut and heavy floral decorations.
The offering of the 45-ft-high ‘Big Swan’ on the last day of the celebrations is the best moment.