Kaviyoor Mahadev temple and important traditional temple festivals

Mahadev temple.KaviyoorTemple,Main Entranceen.wikipedia.or

Kaviyoor Mahadevar temple. Kerala Tourism Guide
Almost every month there will be  some Hindu temple festivals   somewhere in India. There are countless temple festivals  being held across India  relevant to the regions,  local culture and seasons. Each state has its own temple festivals on specified days   in which lots of devotees participate. The temple festivals are an integral part of Indian culture and they have been around us for more than 1000 plus years. The lives of devout Hindus are closely woven with them. Some  are held on particular days, others last  a week and more.  They commemorate some mythological legends  associated with the temples and the presiding deity.  For example - Odisha: Puri Jaganath temple and the popular Rath yatra;  Tamil Nadu: The famous Meenakshi Kalyanam festival in Madurai,  Vaikunta Ekadesi and  Sorgavasal Thirrappu (opening of Heaven's gate) at the huge temple complex  of Sri  Ranganathar, Srirangam;  Kerala: The colorful Thirussur Poorum festival at Vadukanathan temple  and  the popular  Arattu festival at the Lord Padmanabha temple in Thiruvananthapuram.; Karnataka: The Ranganatha festival is the most popular oneand is observed  in those temples dedicated to lord Ranganatha (Vishnu)  in his Ananthasayanam posture and   Andhra: Several festivals are associated with Tirupati Balaji temple and the other popular one is Durgamma festival across this state. 

Hindu festivals are an occasion for rejoice and a chance to express our gratitude to the almighty. for prosperity, welfare and providing copious rain for agricultural operation, etc. From social integration point of view,  such festivals bring people of all casts from different communities to one place and make them work in unison to make  festivals a success. It promotes social intercourse , integration and unity among the people for a common purpose. Besides, days-long festivals provide an opportunity  for young people to show their talents in traditional Indian dances, classical music, etc. The temple festivals give job opportunities to plenty of middle class people who have close link with the temples. They  are the torch bearer of Indian tradition and culture that have  been with us for centuries without any break and, further, they keep the Indian fine arts, dances, music, etc.,  alive. 

Kerala,  often called  'God's Own Country', has a large number of Hindu temples and  many have unique religious and cultural traditions. Many temple  festivals  are held on specific days of the year and others  usually continue for a number of days. The striking feature of Kerala temple festival is the procession of
of idols (Urchavar) on caparisoned elephants often accompanied by traditional music such as Panchari melam or Panchavadyam. The latter is quite common in many Hindu temples of Kerala.

Festivals of Kaviyoor Mahadev temple:

Sivaratri festival in a Kerala temple iveminer.com
Kavyiyoor Mahadevar temple in  Pathanamthitta District of Kerala is a popular temple and here, besides the presiding deity lord Shiva, there is a separate   sanctum - Srikovil dedicated to Sri Rama Bhakta Hanuman. That Sri Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) himself did linga prathista (consecration ) here is a mythological facor that bestows importance and sanctity to this age old temple. The temple is also famous for Mangalaya puja (meant for women).

Once this temple, it is believed, celebrated  16 annual festivals.  But as of  now the main Annual festivals are less than what it used to be. The following may be worth mentioning:

Panthrantu kalabham for Hanuman in Chingam Kanni ( July), 

Ayilyam (September) for Serpent gods, 

Thiruvuthsavam (Annual festival- December–January) for Shiva and Parvathi,

Hanumath Jayanthi for lord Hanuman  (December–January), 

Uthrittathi Attathirunal (January) for the consort of Shiva,

Sivarathri ( February–March), Kalabhaabhishekam (April) and Sahsrakalasam (May–June).

Panthrantu Kalabham: This  festival was first introduced in  1951 for Lord Hanuman as wished by Maharajah  Sri Chithira Thirunal Balaramavarma. This is done in memory of the renovation and upgrading of the Hanuman Temple by the ruler. This 12 day  festival starts on the first day of Malayalam month Chingam and ends on the twelfth day.

Ayilyam: It falls  in the Malayalam month Kanni  and is for the serpent gods - Nagarajah and Nagayakshini. This festival is observed here as  countless  devotees  who come to the temple  also pray to the Serpent stone idols installed on the temple premises. Childless couples participate in this temple festival. 

Thiruvuthsavam: This  main festival of Lord Mahadeva is held  on a grand scale in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December- January) and is being attended by thousands of devotees from all over the central Travancore region. This  ten-day  colorful festival  is a popular one.  Utsavabali, Seva, Pallivetta are the other parts of the festival.  Devotees decorate the temple with colourful lights, candles and flowers.

From the second day to the sixth day the lord's idol  atop caparisoned elephant is taken to those temples  associated with this temple. Temple rituals are held only inside the temple premises from the 7th day onward.  The tenth day event is an important one.  The Urchavar idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are taken in a colorful  procession to the Manimala river for Arat.

Hanumath jayanthi: It falls  in the  Malayalam month Dhanu (December–January) and is a popular festival dedicated to lord Hanuman (Anjanayar). This festival also attracts thousands of devotees. The main offering is Vada mala and devotees offer it with prior arrangement.
Aval Panthirunazhi is yet another offering here. Hanuman stands for valor, wisdom and good health. Worshiping him on this day is good for your physical and mental well being.

Uthrittathi Thirunal:   It is held in the month of Makaram (January–February) in memory of the consecration of the Sri Moolarajeswary idol 
(Parvati). Maharajah Sri Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma of Travancore in 1893 AD had the idol consecrated.  

Shivarathri:  This important festival is celebrated in  Malayalam month of Kumbham (February–March). It is associated with  various rituals as  in other Shiva temples. 

This temple has a huge oil lamp stand- Velakku Madam.  The tradition has it that all oil lamps in the velakku madam should be lit on certain festival days. Vilakkezhunnellippu is a unique custom of the festival. The 8000 lamps on the wall of the Nalambalam are lit by seven desams  of Kaviyoor and Kunnamthanam villages. It is an amazing sight that enhances the sanctity of this place of worship. Whole night there will be puja to the main deity which is done four times by the priest.  On the temple premises, there will musical discourse  of stories from the Puranas, etc. This is just a one day festival ending in the following morning.

Sahasra Kalasam: This festival is  for 10 days. The main event  of  this festival is  abhishekam (anointing) and  is  done to the main deity with 100 pots among which one is  gold pot, 10  are silver pots and the rest are copper pots. This is done at devotees' request.

Thulabharam Offering:  This is common on festival days at some temples. Tulaparam offering is made by some devotes who offer food grains, vegetables, etc., equal to their body weight. This is done for various reasons to succeed in business, to pass exams, to get a child, etc. Tulaparam offering is made either before or after their wish is granted by the lord. In those days, rich people would  make  gold and silver coins or jewelry as offering to the lord for success in their endeavor or in any other matter.