The number of festivals and auspicious days celebrated or observed at Thiruvambady Temple is the highest, when compared with other Temples, in Thrissur.
Sree Krishna Jayanthi
Birthday of Sri Krishna is celebrated in the month of Chingom (August -September). The temple opens at 3.30 am and the last pooja suffixed by Siveli is conducted late in the night. The temple closes at about 1.20 am the next day. Apart from the usual festivities of floral and lamp decorations, between 8.30 am and 11.30 am, there is the Ushassiveli parading 5 decorated elephants and accompanied by Panchari Melam.
Navarathri (Dasra) is celebrated for 10 days in the month of Kanni (September. - October) with music concerts, bhajans, dances etc. staged in the evenings. Goddess Saraswathy is worshipped in a temporary sanctum for 3 days. Students and devotees bring their books to be placed for the Pooja and propitiate the Goddess of learning. Initiations of children to writing, known as Vidyarambham, is conducted on the morning of the 10th day (Vijayadasami).
From Ist day of Vrischigom (mid November), for 50 to 55 days, Kalampattu forms an integral part of the daily rituals. Goddess Bhagavathy is depicted, on the floor within the nalambalam, using herbal powders of different colours, the temple oracle dances around the depiction and then blesses the devotees. The culmination of the Kalampattu is called Vela. The Vela procession of the deity with seven fully caparisoned elephants is conducted between 9 pm and 3 am The procession proceeds with 3 elephants and Panchavadyam ensemble towards the Vadakkunnathan Temple. As the procession reaches the fringes of the Temple maidan, the number of elephants is increased to 7 and Panchavadyam is replaced by Pandimelom, a drum concert. After the concert, the deity returns to the temple. Vela is celebrated in early January every year.
The Ekadasi day in the Sukla Paksha of the month of Dhanu (December 15 - January 15) is celebrated on a grand scale. Elephant processions, circumambulating the temple, art performances, Oil lamp illuminations, panchavadyam, drum concert etc. mark the day. 10 days long Sangeethothsava (Festival of classical Music) precedes the Ekadasi Festival. Special Poojas sponsored by individuals and organizations start 13 days ahead of Ekadasi; These are called ‘Vilakku rites’.
8 days festival to propitiate Lord Unnikrishna begins on the Pooyam aster of Kumbham (February- March), as the temple flag goes up on the gold covered flag mast. During the last two days the deity is taken out on elephant, with more elephants flanking the idol bearer, to the accompaniment of percussion ensembles. These two days are called Pallivetta & Aarattu.
The Thiru Utsava is preceded by purificatory rites known as ‘Dravya - Sahasra Kalasa’. The kalasa rites last for a week.
The day of consecration of the idol in the sanctum is also celebrated on a grand scale. This day is now on the Punartham aster in the month of Meenam (March - April). The Prathista day will change after every Naveekarana Kalasa, which is prescribed to be conducted once in every 12 years.
The most important festival is Thrissur Pooram. more...
Worshiping the Lord using Rigveda manthras and floral tributes, is a 8 day long yagna at the temple every year. Rigveda archana, usually precedes or succeeds Srikrishna Jayanthi, without clashing with Onam.
Worshipping Krishna and the Devi, chanting the names of the deity one lakh times, is conducted on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month of Thulam (October - November).
Illamnira is the harvest festival celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Moon day in the Month of Karkitakam (July - August). The newly harvested paddy stems are brought in great reverence, to the temple, placed on a special pedestal and Lakshmi-Pooja conducted praying for prosperity to all. The sanctified paddy stems are distributed among the devotees for taking them to their houses as ‘Prasad’ and keeping them at their households.
Sampoorna Krishnanattam is staged at the temple every year. It is a 9 day programme. The days are fixed every year, as per convenience of the performers from Guruvayoor.
Two Bhagavatha Sapthahams are conducted under the auspices of the Devasthanam - one in connection with Navarathri and the second in connection with Vaisakhamaasa observance.
More Bhagavatha Sapthahams, Narayaneeya Sapthahams, Devi Bhagavatha Navahams etc. are conducted when sponsors come forward with such programmes as their offerings unto the Lord.
The Ramayana discourses are conducted for 30 consecutive evenings in the month Karkitakam (July - August).
Annadanam for 100 persons is a daily routine in the temple. The cost of one day?s Annadanam is Rs.2500.
Large Scale Annadanams
Annadanam is considered to be one of the most sacred offering to propitiate the Lord. The Devaswom would like to make Annadanam a bigger daily routine, once necessary infrastructures are available.
Devotees are free to partly or fully sponsor daily Annadanam or Annadanam on special occasions.
As of now, large Scale annadanams are conducted on
- Sri Krishna Jayanthi
- Vaikunda Ekadasi
- Vela Festival
- 8 days of Thiru Utsavam
- Prathishta day
- Thrissur Pooram.
The first Wednesday in the month of Dhanu (this would be a day between December 15/16 and 21/22) is observed as Kuchela Dinam. This is a day of remembrance of Sudama’s visit to Sreekrishna, with a little beaten rice. The moment Krishna ate a part of that, Sudama got endowed with all prosperity. Well cooked sweetened beaten rice, in very large quantity, is offered to the Lord at a special Pooja at 3 p.m. and ‘Prasad’ distributed to devotees. Partaking in this offering is supposed to save the devotee from pangs of poverty.