Purakkuvam (Prakuzham,Purakuzham)

It’s the first rite on “Vaishakha” in the month of Medom. All rites are performed at “Ekkare Kottiyoor” and ‘Aayilyakavu’ adjacent to it. Melted butter from “Meloorpadi” Naga temple, brought by Etteri Nambiar in a procession, is used to light the temple “Vilakku” and marks the beginning of rituals.

Next, bringing and measuring of puffed rice. 16 sers are to be measured. Puffed rice is prepared at “Pullancheri Illam”, and it is now brought in from Narasimha temple, Pala; as per astrological directions, “Koothodu” at “Ekkare kottiyur” is the designated venue for this rite.

Nellalavu or Rice Grains, are next measured  Devotees coming in for the Vaishaka festival are given cooked rice ‘Nivedyachoru’ as ‘Prasadam’ .Rice for this purpose is measured by the eldest from “Vaallechan” community followed by “Nambishan” and “kanakkapilla”. ”Puralavum” means the rite of giving the measured grain outside for pounding into rice. After which it is brought back in a procession and measured once more.

During this period, Kadan, Ottapilan, Puramkalayan, Aashari conduct “Thanneerkudi”-another ritual. This takes place at “mandamcheri” in the east.

The day and time for beginning the festival and a gathering to decide this also take place during “Purallavam”. The Gathering takes place at “Koothodu”. Kanakkapilla decides the day based on the “Rashi” .Such decisions are made only on days having “Karkkidaka-Rashi”  “. Gooda pooja”, Under guidance of ”Padinjitta Namboodiri” is performed at mid-night.”Appada”is the prasadam which tastes both sweet and bitter at the same time. This is made with Rice powder mixed with turmeric-baked/roasted.  It is believed that if the taste is bitter, the Jhanma Sthanikan Would not live till the next festival. He then teaches, hands over to the next in line, all the secret rites connected with the pooja and awaits death. If the bitterness of ‘ada’ is felt during the “Purallavam” he will die before “Neerezhunnallathu”, and if its felt on the day of “Neerezhunnallathu” he would die before “kalashattom”-In the past ada was given only to people occupying prominent positions. But now, it’s distributed to all devotees as Prasadam. This is followed by a grand feast. and marks the end of rites associated with “Purallavam”.

The next day, every prominent member comes together for another grand feast at “Karimbana Gopuram”: This is called “Pattathanam”.