Some of the best known Kerala dances are performed on the occasion of Onam. Most remarkable of them all are Kathakali, Kaikottikali and Thumbi Thullal. If the unparalleled performance of Kathakali artistes leaves the audience awestruck, the very elegant Kaikottikali has the power to enchant them and leave them asking for more. Grace and simplicity are the hallmarks of Kerala dances and also their inherent characteristics.
The other enchanting folk dances performed on the occasion of Onam include Kumattikali and Pulikali or Kaduvakali. These are not just colourful and well orchestrated but are also hugely entertaining. Plaited grass and big wooden masks are particular to Kummatikali dancers who shake themselves on the rhythm provided by onavillu for the recreation of the people. Pulikali performers on the other hand paint themselves as tigers and enact hunting scenes to amuse people.
Kummattikali is the famous colorful mask-dance of Kerala, South Malabar in particular. During the festival of Onam, Kummattikali performers move from house to house collecting small gifts and entertaining people.
Pulikali / Kaduvakali
Pulikali is a colorful recreational folk art from the state of Kerala. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam.
The festival of Onam is blessed with one very striking feather in its cap. The carnival witnesses the performance of unique and unparalleled dance-drama Kathakali. Amongst other places Shoranur, Kovalam and most importantly Cheruthuruthy get the honour of hosting Kathakali shows during the carnival of Onam.
Thumbi Thullal is a fascinating all women dance and singing event performed in Kerala on the occasion of Onam. While men engage themselves in energetic sports, womenfolk perform Thumbi Thullal and have their share of fun.
Kaikottikali or Thiruvathirakali is an extremely popular folk dance performed by the maidens of Kerala. It is a group dance and is mainly performed on the occasion of Onam and Thiruvathira. Women, both young and old submerge themselves in the spirit of the occasion and dance with perfect ease and e¢lan.