Kettukazcha, also called Kutirakettu, is a colourful event celebrated in Nooranad village located in Kollam district of South Kerala during the months of August-September or September-October. The centre of activity is the Oachira Temple located nearly 32 kms from Kollam on the way to Alappuzha. A special feature of this temple is the absence of idol here. The concept of 'Parabrahmam' (Cosmic Consciousness) is given importance here. It is from this temple that the procession of decorated effigies of Lord Shiva's vehicle 'Nandi', the bull is carried out. This picturesque and gay festival of rural Kerala attracts thousands of people every year.
The Procession of Bulls
Each pair of bulls that is carried in procession has a significant story attached to it having relevance to the presiding deity, the Devi or the Goddess of the temple, where they finally assemble for further ceremonies.
These huge, towering motifs of bulls in pairs are pulled on rathams or wooden carts by the devotees. These motifs are brought as an offering to deity on wish fulfillment by the devotees. Artisans of various villages in the vicinity vie with each other for the most intricately decorated motifs. The biggest structure can be as big as 70-80 feet tall. These are carried on the shoulders and sometimes placed on chariots and taken around the shrine. Scholars believe that the tradition of Kettukazcha has its roots in the Buddhism which was prevalent in the Kerala during the 3rd century B.C.
The other high point of the festival is that people from different Karas adjoining the temple concerned bring big cars or rathams. On these rathams are located idols of various Hindu Gods and goddesses and effigies of mythological characters like Bhima, Panchali Hanuman.