In Kerala, Thiruvathira is a festival primarily for women (although there are other festivals primarily for women, this is the main one). It is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December-January).This Thiruvathirakali is is a very popular dance form of Kerala, It is usually performed in connection with the Kerala festival called Onam and Thiruvathira.Thiruvathirakali is also called as "Kaikottikali". On this day, married and unmarried women perform the dance yearning for the well-being of their husband and for acquiring a good husband respectively. It is a kind of ritual performed to ensure happy and harmonious marital life.women take an early bath and get dressed in traditional attire (Mundu and Veshti). They take noyambu (fast) on that day and have only non-rice food. In the evening, they perform the dance and decorate their hair with Pathirapoovu (a kind of flower). This is a group dance and steps in this dance are very simple but elegant. 5 to 7girls will stand in a circle around a lighted brass lamp, and dance each step to the rhythm of the songs they sing, clapping their hands. These special songs for thiruvathira is called Thiruvaathirappattu.The graceful dance takes place around a Nilavilakku or a lamp and the dance is a symbol of female energy.The sinuous movements executed by a group of dancers around a nilavilakku, embody 'lasya' or the amorous charm and grace of the feminine.

It is a simple and gentle dance with the lasya element forming its main part in overall dance. Sometimes, even men participate in it, where the thandava part is also brought in dance performance occasionally.About a week before the festival practically starts, at about 4 in the morning young female members (especially of Nair families), get out of their beds and takes a bath in the local (usually communal) pond. A fairly large number of young ladies get together in the pond for this. The dance form involves very graceful and simple steps that highlights the essence of Kerala's beauty. The tune and the lyrics are very sweet, simple and are related in many ways to everyday life.



According to Hindu mythology, Parvati performed rigorous penances in order to win Shiva as her husband. Shiva, pleased with her commitment agreed to take Parvati as his wife on this vary day of Thiruvathira.


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