Kakkoor Kalavayal is a centuries-old harvest festival of South India. The trip this time is to see this festival. Agriculture is the coming together of man and nature, nature’s kindness for man’s sweat, but this blend is on the verge of extinction. The beauty lies in the scent of mud and sludge, the endless greenery, etc. Earlier bull racing competitions were conducted among farmers post harvest.
Preparing Ploughed Fields For The Race
The buffaloes are specially bred and trained for months before bringing them to the ploughed fields for the race. Rules will be set for the race, such as that the buffaloes should reach the end point without changing track. Kakkoor Village is located in Ernakulam District. Kalavayal is held in the Malayalam months of Aswathy, Bharani, Karthika and Rohini; these are the festival times of Aambasserikavu Devi Temple and Thirumaradi Edaparakavu Bhagavathi Temple of Ernakulam District.
The Kalavayal started as a market for selling agricultural products and developed into the present form of harvest festival. It is held under the leadership of Gram Panchayat and Kakkoor Samskarika Vedhi. Each year, the day on which kalavayal is held changes according to convenience.
The major attractions of this harvest festival are bull race, maramadi race, contest of oxen in doubles, mud race, horse race, flower show, agricultural exhibition, cultural processions, etc. Altogether, it is a 5-to-6-day celebration for the village of Kakkoor. A mixture of mud and sludge is made by filling the paddy field with water and the renowned Maramadi race is conducted on this field.
The buffaloes running through the water-filled field in high speed and the cheering of the men who control them are not to be missed out. A team consists of buffaloes tied to a yoke kept on their backs connected to a wooden plank by ropes and 3 persons who control them.