Pettathullal is a traditional ritual dance performed by devotees during the annual pilgrimage to the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala, India. It is a unique and vibrant form of dance associated with the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
Pettathullal is typically performed by a group of devotees, known as a “petta.” These groups consist of friends, family members, or fellow devotees who come together to participate in the dance. The participants dress in traditional attire, often wearing black or blue dhotis (a garment worn by men) and carrying wooden staffs or canes.
The dance is characterized by energetic and synchronized movements, often accompanied by chanting devotional songs dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The dancers move in a circular or serpentine pattern, swaying to the rhythmic beats of percussion instruments like chenda (drum) and ilathalam (cymbals).
Pettathullal is considered a form of spiritual offering and an expression of devotion to Lord Ayyappa. It is believed that through the dance, devotees seek blessings from Lord Ayyappa and invoke his divine presence. The dance is also seen as a way to create a sense of unity and camaraderie among the participating devotees.
Pettathullal is usually performed during the Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku festivals, which are the major celebrations at the Sabarimala Temple. The dance takes place in the courtyard of the temple or on the surrounding premises, creating a lively and joyful atmosphere.
It’s important to note that the exact customs and practices of Pettathullal may vary among different groups and regions. The tradition has evolved over time, and local variations can be seen in the style, costumes, and music associated with the dance.
If you plan to witness or participate in Pettathullal, it’s advisable to gather specific information and guidance from local sources or temple authorities to ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.