A trip to North Kerala would be incomplete without witnessing the traditional dance form Theyyam. Theyyam is derived from the word ‘Deyvam’, which means God in Malayalam, and is a Hindu religious rite that is passed down from one generation to another.

It is performed to celebrate a good harvest, ward off evil and bring good fortune and is revered across all the Hindu castes as everyone seeks blessings from the Theyyam.

Usually held between December to May every year, Theyyam is a dramatic dance form, infused with Kalaripayattu and worshiping of specific deities.

The locals welcome a Theyyam into their homes to bless their home and loved ones.

The Theyyam artist will wear huge head gear, loud costumes and paint their faces, mostly in red. Theyyam also stands for religious harmony as some of the deities are Mappila Muslim protagonists.

A Travel Series for Yatra.com.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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