Thiruvathira is a unique festival of Kerala that happens in January. This is exclusively a women’s festival. The legend Parvati, the consort of Lord Siva, took a vow restricting very many food items. She understood these vows for the welfare of Siva as well as her devotion to her husband. Thiruvathira comes in the month of Makaram according to the Kerala calendar that corresponds to January, the coldest part of the year. On this day the women go to nearby pools or a river and get into the chilly water for a bath. They sing songs of praise for Parvati. After the bath, they go home and follow a restricted diet omitting rice completely. The food they eat consists of wheat grain cooked instead of rice, a special curry called Puzhuku, made of various tubers and vegetables. They also make a special pudding made of arrowroot powder.

 

During this festival most of the women wear Mundu and Veshti. They also make special swings with coconut fiber ropes on which the women and children play during the day.

 

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