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Nemmara-Vallangi Vela

Nemmara, a small village in the Palakkad District of Kerala state, known far and wide for its ‘Vela’ festival known as Nemmara-Vallangi Vela. It is the biggest of all vela held in Kerala. The Nemmara Vallangi Vela is a festival celebrated in the villages of the Palakkad and Thrissur districts in summer, after the harvest. Nemmara Vallangi Vela is the occasion of flag hoisting to celebrate the grand occasion. The prominent crop in this area is rice.

After the harvest, the fields are empty and dry, and this is the time for the Vela.The Vela is celebrated on a grand scale, equaling the famous ‘Trissur Pooram‘. The festival is believed to be the birthday of the presiding deity of the village temple or the memory of a major event like the killing of a demon by the goddess. The most highlight of vela is fireworks. The Vela falls on the month of ‘Meenam’, as per the Malayalam calendar or in the month of April.There are two competing groups, Nemmara and Vallangi, have their own temples plus a common temple, the Nellikkulangara, where the two groups can mingle.The festivities start ten days earlier than the actual day of Vela, with the hoisting of a flag known as Kodiyettam, in the respective temples.The local people of Kerala are not supposed to leave the village once the flags have been raised. The Nemmara Vallangi Vela festival is the perfect environment to enjoy the numerous folk arts like Kummatti, Karivela, Andivela and many to remember these days of celebration.

The concluding day celebration is marked by the splendor of a ceremony with an array of 30 tuskers paraded on the streets laden with heavy decorations and a decorated canopy as well. The colorful ceremony is witnessed by thousands from all over Kerala and other states as well. The accumulation of two villages to celebrate the occasion too is something striking. The special part of the festival is the kootu or the fire works. This is considered as the biggest fireworks in the globe without using modern and newer pyrotechnics.

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