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Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothashanam

Theyyam festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala known as Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthaam. Men of the northern Kerala perform the ritual dance during the festival. These traditional dances thus provide the visitors a great opportunity to have a closer glance to the culture of the local people. These performances are specially performed on the eve of New Year. Theyyam has almost 400 kinds of historic characters dedicated to it. The other attractions of festival are the various costumes used, Art of Body Painting, the performances of various heroic characters. These shrines and mythological place adds to purification of the surroundings.

Time for Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam Festival

Kerala also termed as God’s own country celebrates Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam festival. This festival is celebrated on the occasion of the eve of New Year and is linked to the Theyyam festival. Generally it is celebrated between 6th December and 6th January. This festival attracts numerous tourists and gives a splendid view to devotees who join this festival. It is majorly expected to be performed from 28th of December to 1st of January. The dance performed in the festival is a real treat for the eyes of the visitors who plan their trip specially to be part of the festival.


Dedicated to the deity all the rituals like performance of dancers are performed. This festival is considered as the major festival of Kerala. This festival has been dedicated to Mother Goddess. The other statures used in the performance are animals, serpents and trees. The dance Theyyam is a combination of almost 400 different kinds of dance. The dance is dedicated to various historic characters. Theyyam festival is offered to the deity and her associates. Since Theyyam is combination of 400 kinds of dances it is performed in different festivals like Elayor Theyyam, Panchoorla Theyyam, Chamudi Theyyam and Muthor Theyyam etc. The kind of dance performed is a visual treat for the devotees.

Theyyam is one of the historic forms of folk art in India that includes the colorful dances and is celebrated as long as ten days at Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam. The dance includes mime along with music, the culture of old tribal and traditional dances that has been dedicated to historic heroes. The people of Kerala follow the Malayalam calendar to prepare their calendar of festivals. The local followers sway few dates of festivals and some propitious events. One has to finally consult the locals to find the exact dates of the festival though the tentative dates are decided beforehand.


People from all over the country visit Kerala to be part of this extravagance dance festival known as Kanathoor Nalavar Bhoothasthanam. The shrine in the village is the place used to perform the dance. At times this dance is carried out in homes following all the sacrament.

The first stance of the dance that is named as Vellattam or Thottam is not very highly decorated as it involves nominal makeup, no rich costumes only major ornament used is the red color headgear.

After performing the first stance of dance, the performers go to what is known as a green room where the dancers return to prepare themselves for the final dance performance. The basic dance performance is simple with very less cosmetics and no rich costumes but during the final dance performance the performers wear rich and decorated costumes and ornaments, also appropriate makeup is applied. The face painting is also involved in the final dance performance. The dancers form the postures of various deities and this final dance is performed in front of the village shrine. The other elements involved in this kind of dance are rituals for the deity, headgears of deity, the sword and shield used by the deity.

The whole dance is also recited in the form if song along the dance performance. The song details about the tradition and folklore of deity on a particular shrine. The musical instruments involved are Chenda, Kuzhal, Veekni and Tuti.

The dance is majorly dedicated to the northern part of Kerala. The district of Kannur and Kasargod majorly practice this form of dance. The dance describes the rich tradition of tribals and is collectively beautifully designed with the blend of both music and dance.

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