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The bundle of offerings to Lord Ayyappa carried by pilgrims who go for Sabarimala pilgrimage is known as Pallikettu.  It is also known as Irumudikettu.

Palukudy / Noolukettu

Palukudy or noolukettu is a function organised on the 28th day after birth of a child. Palukudy, noolukettu and choroonu are important for the newborn babies.  Though the second and third (Noolukettu and Choroonu) functions are being followed today, the first (Palukudy) is not common. On 28th day of birth, the child will be bathed and placed on the lap of Grandfather/Karanavar.  Five small bells and a small pipe made of Panchaloha (five metals – gold, silver, copper, iron and lead) will be attached in a chord (gold string is also used) and tied around the waist of the child.  This function is known as Noolukettu. It is believed that on the 28th day the child is taken to the possession of the Tharavad from the father.  After Noolukettu the Karanavar or mother will give milk to the child three times using a spoon or spoon like thing made of jack tree leaf. Then the Karanavar spell the name of the child silently for three times.  The name will not be disclosed till the end of Choroonu function.


Panigrahanam is an important function of a marriage.  The bride and bridegroom will join their right hands and walk around the temple or marriage mandapam (place where marriage takes place).


The main pooja (worship) performed in temples between the Ushapooja (morning pooja) and Uchapooja (noon pooja).


An offering known by names Parayeduppu, Paranirappu, Parayezhunnallikkal. Nirapara and Nilavilakku are used for many functions.  Paddy will be filled in Para (a cylindrical measuring vessel which can measure about 10 Kg.) and Idangazhy (another measuring jar of about 1 Kg.).  There is another type of para also.  This is found in Malabar area. For conducting this, one bunch of coconut flower, 4 men to beat drums, Ilathalam, Chengala (musical instruments) and 2 for Kuzhal (another musical instrument) and one Velichappad (oracle) are required. Two women will carry paddy.  The team will proceed from temple to each and every home to accept offerings.

Parappedi and Pulappedi

Parappedi and Pulappedi were malevolent customs prevailing in ancient Kerala. In South Kerala it is known as Parappedi and in north Kerala as Pulappedi.  In certain days when low caste people belonging to Pulaya or Paraya community happens to seethe women of higher caste or throw stones at them, that lady will be
abandoned socially.

Pathamudayam (Tenth holy day)

The 10th day of the month Thulam (October-November) and Medam (April-May) are known as Pathamudayam.  Pathamudayam of Tulam
(October-November) is known as Thulapath and that of Medam (April-May) is known as Medapath. Both are important for agricultural operations.  The importance of Vishu festival will last till the Pathamudayam.

Pathinaru (Sixteenth day)

Pathinaru is one of the funeral rituals.  It is conducted on the sixteenth day after death.


Pathirapoochoodal is an important function connected with Thiruvathira. At Thiruvathira midnight, after taking bath, women used to wear dashapushpam (a flower). Consequent on the decline of matrilineal system, Thiruvathira festival as well as the function of Pathirapoochoodal is also vanishing.


The practice of bridegroom seeing the bride before marriage is fixed is known as Pennukanal.  The bridegroom, his relatives including his uncle father, mother and friends will come to the bride’s residence and see her.

Porutham (matching)

To compare the likeness of the horoscopes of bride and bridegroom before marriage is called porutham nokkuka.  Though there are 23 such likings (porutham) factors, only 10 are considered as important.  They are (1) Mahandra Porutham, (2) Yoni Porutham, (3) Dina Poruham, (4) Rashi Porutham, (5) Rasyadhi Porutham, (6) Vashya Porutham, (7) Gana Porutham, (8) Sthree Deergha Porutham, (9) Rajju and (10) Vedam.  Besides the above, Ayavyaya Porutham, Mana Porutham, Nasika Porutham, Ayuporutham are also there.  In addition to this, Papa Samyam is also looked into. 

Pirannal (birthday)

The birthday celebration conducted once in a year when the birth star (asterism day) comes. The first birthday will be on the 28th day after birth.  Following this, every year birthday is celebrated.  It is known as Andupirannal.


Pithrupooja is the ancestral worship.  It is also known as Sradham or Pindom or Pithrubali.  Pithrupooja at Thirunelli, Thiruvallom and Rameswaram are famous. Special Pithrupooja is conducted at Thirunavaya, Varkala and Aluva on the day of Karkidakavavu and the vavu (no moon day) in Kumbhom (February-March) coming after Sivarathri. 


Pradikshinam is the practice of going around the temple in a circle. The mode of Pradikshinam to each god and goddess is different. 


Pradosham is a vrutha (penance) for appeasement of Lord Siva. It is believed that on Pradosha day Lord Siva dances as Nataraja.  In the morning after taking bath, one has to go to Siva Temple for worship. In the day time upavasa is to be performed.  In the dusk again they have to take bath and go to temple. In night after reading holy books the vrutha  will come to an end.  The Sani Pradosham (when Saturday and Pradosham come on the same day) is considered as most important.  On that day offering prayer to Lord Siva with petal of Koovalam flower will bring contentment to the devotee.


Prasadam is the sandalwood paste, bhasmam (sacred ash) and kumkum (Vermillion) given in temples.  To wear it in forehead and chest is considered as a blessing.

Pudamuri (wedding)

Receiving ‘pudava’ which is a part of modern marriage

Pudamuri is the marriage of nairs.  It is also known by names Pudavakoda, Pudamurikallyanam and sambandham.  In olden days, Kettukalyanam was celebrated in a grand scale.  However, the real marriage, pudamuri was celebrated in a less expensive manner.  A woman becomes a wife of a man when he gives a cloth (pudava) to her in front of a Nilavilakku (holy bell metal lamp with wicks) and in the presence of few witnesses.  

Pula and Pulakuli

Pula (pollution) is compulsory to all.  This is observed during birth as well as death. A few days coming after death of a close relative are considered as Pula. If one touches a person who has pula, he should immediately take a bath. During olden days all Hindus observe Pula for 10 days. Now different castes have different types of pula like Pathupula, Panthrandupula, Pathinarupula. The Nairs of North Malabar had a 12 days Pula.  In south Malabar they observed it for 15 days. The bath taken to remove pula is known as Pulakuli rite. The priest who authorised to do the funeral rites spray holy water on the heads of people who are having pula and they should take bath and wash their cloths.

Pulappedi-Parappedi-Mannappedi (Fear of touch by lower caste)

Pulappedi-Parappedi was a malevolent custom feared by all women of the upper castes especially Nairs.  This custom created a fearful atmosphere in the Nair families of 19th century.  Dreaded incidents were witnessed in the northern parts of Kerala and in Onattukara-Kuttanad areas during the months of February-March. The Naduvazhis (local rulers) permitted people belonging to the lower caste to enter the Kavus (worshipping centres / temples) and offer prayers during the festival days once in a year.  They were permitted to take bath in the ponds intended for upper castes.  They had the right to touch the women whom they meet on their way.  The ladies who were thus touched by the lower castes have to go with them.  They can never return to their own houses according to the rule of the community.  This immoral practice was known as Pulappedi-Parappedi


Pulikudy or Pumsavanam is a pre-delivery ritual observed in the seventh month of pregnancy, which is considered as an important function during pre-delivery period.  Among the Namboodiries, the husband gives a mixture of gram and curd to the pregnant wife for consumption. Among others, rice is cooked in the juice of tamarind leaves and given to the pregnant woman.


The first Thiruvathira coming after marriage is known as Puthenthiruvathira or Poothiruvathira. This is celebrated in the bride’s residence.
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