THRISSUR: Festivals have been close to the heart for many in the cultural capital of Kerala. While major festivals fall in January-April season, several church festivals along with local temple festivals take place in November-December season.

Among the major festivals called `Poorams’, Uthralikkavu, Thrissur, Peruvanam-Arattupuzha, Machadu Mamankam, Nenmara (Palakkad) Vela, Parakottukavu, Kechery-Parapookkavu, Kattakkambal, Anthimahakalankavu, Pazhanji-Chiravarambathukavu, Eyyal, Chiramanayankad-Kunnambathukavu and Tirur-Vadakurumbakkavu attract a large crowd, including foreigners.
Utralikkavu Pooram, conducted at the Sree Rudiramahakalikavu temple, is one of the ancient temple festivals in Kerala and it falls on February 28 this year.

Peruvanam and Arattupuzha Poorams are set to be conducted during April 5-12. Anthimahakalankavu vela is famous for the `kala kali’, the figures of `ox’ with colourful decorations taken out by various local teams instead of elephant procession, at the end of which fireworks are conducted. Thrissur Pooram, acclaimed globally, falls on April 17 this year. “Though restriction on elephants has been dealt with to an extent, almost all the local festivals have fireworks and the stringent attitude of officials is making the temple committees worried,” said Sasikumar of the Kerala festival coordination committee.