In the now viral video, the beats are loud and the disco lights flash in regular intervals on the hundreds of festival goers who are seen jumping up and down to a Bollywood medley. A mobile disco vehicle which blares the music and the lights is also seen moving ahead of the crowd. However, in a matter of seconds, the sea of hundreds seamlessly parts, making way for an ambulance to pass through the road. The one minute video which has been shared numerous times on social media was shot on Friday, during the Mannarkkad Pooram, one of the oldest temple festivals in Kerala which is held in Palakkad every year.
Those who watched the video have been left surprised by the smooth coordination of the masses, which almost seems like a planned, flash mob move of sorts. Several belonging to Mannarkkad have shared the video on Facebook, taking pride in the unity shown by the festival goers.
The Mannarkkad Pooram is an annual festival dedicated to Sree Arakurissi Udayarkunnu Bhagavathy, the famous deity in Palakkad. The festival is celebrated every year during the month of March. It is also marked by the presence of the tribal people from Attappadi who come all the way to Mannarkkad to pay their respects to the goddess. Earlier, the festive mood was highlighted by the use of traditional percussion instruments (melam) and other cultural programmes. However, today, this has changed to involve Bollywood numbers and disco beats, with young people dancing in celebration.
The temple is controlled by the family of the erstwhile rulers of Palakkad – the Mannarkkad Moopil Nair family. Much like the grand Thrissur Pooram in Kerala, this festival too consists of caparisoned elephants and mahouts with golden idols sitting atop these elephants, not to mention the thousands gathered to witness the splendour. The festival goes on for a grand total of 8 days.