India | Kerala

Ayyappan Vilakku

Ayyappan Vilakku is a ritualistic observance, conducted in Ayyappa temples. On this occasion, numerous miniature temples are constructed out of tender coconut frond and plantain leaf-stalks. Songs are sung on the legendary fight between Lord Ayyappa and Vavar.

In tune with the various rhymes and rhythms of this devotional song, two dancers in the costume and make up of Ayyappan and Vavar, perform fight, striking with swords and defending with coconut fronds. Vigorous footwork characterise their movements. In the last stage, a huge fire called 'azhi' is lit and the dancers step on the burning embers, still continuing to dance.

Updated on 11th November, 2005


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