is one among the temple poojas. It is done
on the mid-day. After performing the pooja,
the shrine gates will close to be re-opened at evening.
ritual carried out by the near relatives of a dead person
for the sake of the departed soul. The relatives,
after taking bath, will come near the ‘peetam’ in wet dress
and perform bali.
is a combination of matriarchal and patriarchal system
of inheritance. It is believed that this system was
prevalent during the period of Aromal Chekavar.
Upavasam is a vratha (penance)
performed by fasting. There are different forms of
upavasam. Fasting without food and water throughout
the day is called Sudhopavasam. Taking food only
once is known as Orikkal.
Uranma is one of the powers of the
Deshavazhis (local ruler). This pertains to
the management of temple land and men. Namboodiris
were the rulers of most of temples. Uralasabha
was also constituted for the running of temple administration.
Uzham Porukkuka is a marriage custom prevalent in
North Malabar. It is also known as Vidaram Kayaruk’.
It is a low cost marriage. No dress will be given
to the bride. Feast will be arranged only to the relatives.
The bridegroom has to go to the bride’s residence.
He has no right to take the bride to his home. For
this he has to wait till Pudamuri (real marriage).
Some times, Pudamuri will be taken place after several
years when their children attain the age of ten or twelve
Uruli Kamazthal (Placing of uruli
vessel upside down)
A function performed by the married couple at Mannarsala
to have good children. They used to pray before the
Valiyamma (grand mother) of the Illam and
after obtaining permission come to the temple and place
a Uruli (a brass vessel) on the main entrance of
the shrine. Subsequently, the Valiyamma place the
Uruli upside down in the Nilavara (Cellar).
It is believed that the ladies will become pregnant within
41 days of the function. After the birth of the child,
the parents go to the temple with their child and perform
special poojas and the Uruli that kept upside
down in the Nilavara will be placed straight position.
Only this will complete the offering.
The practice of presenting banana bunches
to Lord Krishna at the Guruvayur Temple on the Thiruvonam
day of Chingam (August-September) is the Uthradakazhcha.
The Melsanthi (Main Priest) has the right to place
the first bunch in a plantain leaf applied with rice powder
paste. After that the devotees can also submit their
Uthraseeveli is a festival of Thiruvalla
Sreevallabha Temple conducted on the Uthram asterism
day of Meenam (March-April). The Bhagavathies from
the near temples will proceed to the Thiruvalla Sreevallabha
Temple on the eighth day of the festival falling on Uthram
day. It is believed that these Bhagavathies are the
sisters of Sreevallabhan. Their entries to the Sreevallabha
Temple is through the north gate which is opened only once
in a year to permit their entry. The gate will be
closed immediately after their retreat. It is believed
that all the sins will disappear on seeing and praying Uthraseeveli.
It is also believed that the thirty-three crores of Devas
(Gods) will array in the sky to witness the festival.
Utsavam (Temple Festival)
The annual festival of a temple is known as Utsavam.
Utsavam begins with Kodiyettam (flag hoisting)
and ends with Arat. Several programmes will
be arranged on the intervening days. Utsavabali,
Sreebali,and Ezhunnallathu. will be performed on all
days. Chendamelam, Thayambaka, Panchavadyam
and Nadaswaramelam will accompany the procession.
Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Koothu, Thullal, Theyyam, Thira,
Kurathyattam etc. are some among the special programmes
arranged during festival days. A grand festival viz.,
Valiyavilakku is also conducted on the day before
Arat. There are three types of temple festivals.
They are (1) Padahadi, (2) Dwajadi, and (3)
Ankuradi. Padahadi festival is without Kodiyettam.
Here importance is given to Melam (i.e., playing
of various musical instruments). Dwajadi also focus
on melam but will have kodiyettam and the
most important is the last one viz., Ankuradi.
A magical ritual carried out to evade evil spirits and to
recover from illness. There are different forms of
uzhichils known as Ariyuzhichil, Thiriuzhichil,
Panthamuzhichil and so on.