Thiruvathirakali is a dance that takes place by woman in Kerala on the day of Thiruvathira, which usually occurs during the months of December to January. Thiruvathira always occurs on purnima – a full moon day, and is very auspicious in Kerala. The day focuses on celebrating the creation of the universe by Lord Shiva over about 132 trillion years ago.
Thiruvathirakkali is celebrated with great spirit and energy, after woman fast for the whole day. On the day of Thiruvathira Lord Shiva is praised in temples and Lord Shiva’s name is recited in many Tamil names, instead of Sanskrit. Additionally, many tamil hyms will be sung during the day as a form of entertainment and prayer. In Kerala, during this festival there many idols of Nataraj – Lord Shiva, and Shivagami – Goddess Parvati are found in homes and temples. This highlights the importance of the day, to those living in the Kerala region of India.
The Thiruvathirakali dance is one of the major arts of Kerala and involves dancing in a circle, clapping and singing. Thiruvathirakali has an important representation of the everlasting cycle of both construction and destruction. The dance also portrays primarily five activites ‘Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release’; greatly dedicating the dance to Lord Shiva.
Another form of art performed in Kerala, as social entertainment or as a festive occasion is Duffmuttu, which is performed by Muslims. The duffmuttu performance involves six members, whom then can stand or sit opposing each other. The participants then sing songs and sway their bodies according to the rhythm of the music.
Thiruvathira costumes are very unique and highlight the wear of many people in Kerala. The thiruvathira costume includes a white sari with a coloured border (red, orange, blue, green etc) which has hints of gold. Women will also wear a garland in their hair and adorn themselves with gold jewellery for the occasion.
During the annual thiruvathirakali performance many thiruvathirakali photos and videos are taken to remember the event. The thiruvathirakali images illustrate the beautiful dance form and the thiruvathirakali costumes, which are an important aspect to the people of Kerala. Some of the images of thiruvathirakali really show the passion the woman have for the dance form and can be found on many websites such as thiruvathirakali Wikipedia.