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Pulikali festival

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    9th Sep, 2023

Context

As part of the Onam 2023 celebration in Kerala, people across state performed Pulikali (tiger dance).

Pulikali festival:

  • Pulikali is a traditional folk art form and festival celebrated in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
  • The word "Pulikali" translates to "Tiger Play" in Malayalam, the local language. It involves participants painting their bodies to resemble tigers.
  • Participants, known as "Pulikali artists," wear colorful costumes resembling tigers and dance through the streets of Kerala's cities and towns.

  • The festival is usually part of Onam celebrations, Kerala's harvest festival, and is performed to entertain people and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state.
  • Pulikali involves lively and energetic performances, with drummers accompanying the artists, creating a vibrant and captivating spectacle that attracts both locals and tourists.

About Onam:

    • Onam is the most important and widely celebrated harvest festival in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
    • The festival typically lasts for ten days, with the main celebrations taking place in the month of Chingam, which falls in August or September of the Gregorian calendar.
    • Onam is associated with the mythological King Mahabali, who is believed to have been a wise and benevolent ruler. People celebrate his return to Kerala during Onam.
    • During Onam, people wear traditional clothing known as "Mundu" for men and "Kasavu saree" for women. These outfits are elegant and white with gold borders.
    • Onam is known for its grand feasts called "Onasadya," which includes a variety of vegetarian dishes served on banana leaves.
    • Folk dance forms like "Kathakali" and "Pulikali" are performed during Onam, along with other cultural events and competitions.
    • The "Vallamkali" or snake boat races are a major highlight of Onam, with beautifully decorated long boats competing in thrilling races.
    • Onam is often referred to as the "State Festival of Kerala" and holds a special place in the hearts of Keralites. It reflects the state's cultural diversity and traditions.

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