is a rare mixture of natural materials, which is used to
make or fix idols in temples. This is considered to be
an auspicious and noble yogam. Silver and gold wires
are used for making bones and veins of the idol. Thereafter
the idol will be covered by using Kadusarkara, a mixture
made of Kavi (saffron) soil, Kadukka, Thannikka,
Nellikka, kozhipparal and chenchalyam.
The idol at Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple of Thiruvananthapuram
is made by using Kadusarkarayogam.
Kalakabhishekam is done using Kalabham
to cover the idol fully. Kalabham is made of sandal,
akil, gulgulu, manchi, kumkum flower, kottam,iruveli and ramacham.
It is very special to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu.
is a function organised in temples and houses
as offerings. It is performed for prosperity,
recovery from illness and as a religious function.
The practice is to draw the figure of a goddess
by using several natural powders and conduct of
pooja and songs. The drawing of ‘Bhadrakali’
(Durga) is commonly used. The drawing of
hunters and snakes are also practiced to conduct
kalamezhuth pattu (songs) in the same manner.
new moon day in the month of Karkidakom (July-August)
is the Karkidaka Vavu. This is famous
for bali (paying homage) to the departed
soul of ancestors. It is believed that the
souls will attain it is believed if bali
is performed on this day. It is the first Amavasi
of Dakshinayanam. The first Amavasi
of Utharayanam comes in the month of Makaram
(January-February). The first is related to fathers
and latter to Gods. Therefore, Karkidaka
Vavu became famous for performing bali
to ancestors. Thousands of people will throng
on the riverbanks and beaches to offer holy prayers
and bali for the departed souls of their
fathers. In north Kerala, it is believed
that the dead souls will visit the homes on the
day of Karkidaka Vavu. The relatives
will prepare Ada (sweet rice cake) and
wait for the arrival of the soul.
Kalasam is a ritual performed in temples to
revive the divinity of the idol after the consecration ceremony.
The holy water is poured over the idol. Kalasam is also
done when the power of the worshipping deity is found weak.
There are several types of Kalasams. Ottakalasam
(one kalasam), Irupthanchukalasam (twenty five
kalasams), Nootyettu Kalasams (one hundred and
eight kalasams), Sahasrakalasam (one thousand
kalasams) etc. This depends upon the number of pots (Kumbhams)
used for conducting the pooja.
A festival of women in North Kerala connected
with pooram celebrations during the month of Meenom
(March-April) (Also see Meenapooram)
Kandakassani (Misery period)
Astrologically, Kandakassani is the period
of travel of Shani (Saturn) in the Chandralegna
or its 4th, 7th or 10th Bhavas. This is termed
as a most miserable period. Grief, illness, exile from
native region, poverty, and defamation are the results.
It is believed that Kandakasshani may take away the life
Kani (first sight of day)
person or thing, which one sees immediately after
awakening from sleep in the early morning, is
known as ‘kani’. It is believed that the
result of the day will depend upon this view.
The ‘Vishu’ celebrations start with ‘kani’, which
will be arranged in each home to be seen by all
members of the family in the early morning.
Kanneru (Black eye)
This is only a belief that adverse effects will happen
if some people look and make comments on any agriculture crop
or new buildings under construction or any other beautiful objects
or beings. It is otherwise known as drishtipadam, drishtibadha,
karimkannu, and nokkudosham. In order to save them from
the Karimkannanmar (black-eyed persons), vulgar models were
exhibited in the crop fields, in front of new constructions
etc. Another trouble related to Kanneru is Naveru.
These persons are usually black tongued also.
When relatives go to the house where death occurred,
they used to take betel vine, tobacco, avil (beaten rice),
sharkara (jaggery), and banana. This is known as Kannok.
The last day of month of Midhunam (June-July) is celebrated
as Karkidaka Samkranthi.
Kathukuthal (Karnavedham) is the ear-boring
ceremony, which takes place during the first year of birth.
The Kathukuthu of children was celebrated as a great
festival in olden days. This custom is practiced in different
forms by different castes. Generally this function is
arranged when the children attain the age of four or five. A
gold or copper wire or thorn of lime tree is to pierce the bottom
middle portion of the ear usually by a Thattan (goldsmith).
Kesantham is one of the Shodashacharangal
of Namboothiris. Kesantham is a rite to remove the tuft
from the head of a boy.
Kettukalyanam was a custom prevalent
among the matrilineal family of ancient times. This was
a function of tying thali to the girls by an elderly person.
He had no other relation with the girl. It is also known as
Thalikalyanam. The thalikettu was arranged
before the girl attained puberty. The age of 7, 9 or 11
were considered best for thalikettu. If thalikettu
was not done before the girl attained puberty, it was considered
as a disgrace to the family. Kettukalyanam was
arranged by erecting huge pandals in front of the house
and by serving feast according to the status and financial position
of the family. The function will last for four days.
Auspicious day will be fixed for thalikettu. Relatives
will be invited for the function. At the fixed time, the
girl in new dresses will be brought to the decorated pandal
and thalikettu will be done in front of Nirapara
and Nilavilakku. Kettukalyanam and marriage
are different. The real marriage functions of Nairs’ were very
simple. This was known as Pudavakoda. The
bridegroom reaches the house of the bride in the fixed hour
along with his close relatives and gives pudava (cloth) to the
bride in front of Nirapara and Nilavilakku. The
customs of thalikettu, exchange of rings exchanging floral
garlands etc. that prevalent now were not practiced in olden
days. As matrilineal system was in vogue the children had no
right in their father’s property. The Namboodiries (Kerala
Brahmin) and Ambalavasis practiced the Sambandham marriage.
These may be the reason for the Pudavakoda being performed
as a simple function. Kettukalyanam gradually came to
an end with the abolition of matrilineal system and financial
deterioration of families.
or Kettumurukku is one of the procedures of Sabarimala
pilgrims. This was performed before leaving for
is a system of marriage resembling Pudamuri. This
was in practice at Palakkad
and Chittoor. Instead of giving cloth to the bride as
in Pudamuri, here money is given. All other functions
are same as that of Pudamuri. (Also see Pudamuri).
The pooja performed in
temples for worshipping God. The Sahasranamam (thousand
verse) will be repeated one thousand times through this pooja.
Kodiyettam (Flag hoisting)
is the beginning of temple festival. In temple
where there is no permanent flag post areca nut or other
available trees will be cut and brought in a festive
procession and fixed in appropriate place. The
temple flag marking the beginning of the festival is
hoisted in such posts. No other programmes will
be held on that day. Festival starts from the
next day onwards.
oracle dance performed in temples, especially Devi temples
during festivals to inform the presence of Devi is known
as Komaramthullal. It is also known as
Velichappad thullal. There will be identified
persons in each temple to perform this act. They tie
bells around their waist, takes out sword in hand, wear
chilambu in legs and dance with divine sword
in hand and announce the desire of the presiding deity.
Koottam (Public Forum)
was a public forum organised to discuss and solve public issues.
There were many forms of Kootams like Sabha, Tharakootam,
Deshakootam, Nattukootam etc. People obeyed the decisions
taken in such Kootams.
The grocery and vegetables
given by the husband to wife’s house in the matrilineal system
during Onam and Thiruvathira is known as Koppukodukkal.
The status of the matrilineal society is assessed depending
upon the quantity of Koppukodukkal.
The procedures, customs and practices
to be observed in temples are known as Kshethracharangal.
Kshethrakalakal (Art forms of temple)
The art forms performed in temples
are known as Kshethrakalakal. Koothu, Koodiyattom,
Patakam, Ashtapadi, Krishnanattam, Kadhakali, Thullal, Mohiniyattom
are main among them. Local festivals like Padayani,
Kettukazcha, Kuthiyottam are some others.
Kuruthy is an offering performed in Bhagavathy
temples. It is otherwise known as Guruthi or Gurusi.
In olden days animals or birds such as goat or fowl were sacrificed
as part of the ritual. It is not in vogue now. Instead,
a mixture of turmeric and quicklime will be added in water,
as it will have blood colour. This mixture is used for performing
Kuruthy. Tuesday and Friday are good for performing
the ritual. Kuruthy is also performed in connection
with Theyyam, Thira and Pana.
Kuthyottam is an offering made in the
Devi Temples of South Kerala. At Chettikulangara and Attukal
Devi temples this was performed along
with temple festival.