Puthari also called as Huthari in some regions is a joyous harvest festival celebrated in South India. It is celebrated in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September) after the paddy harvest. At this time rice is just formed and is brought to the house from the field and de-husked. Farmers are happy looking at the result of the toil and rejoice by dancing and singing. To celebrate, Puthari villagers gather in temples which is the centre of cultural activities and make merry.
Meaning of the word 'Puthari' is new rice. The festival symbolizes the solemn beginning of the use of new rice from freshly conducted harvest season for offering in the temple. As a tradition, sweet Pal Payasam (pudding made with rice and milk) is prepared with new rice for offering to the Lord on the auspicious occasion.
Another custom of Puthari entails cutting of little paddy crop which is ready for harvest. It is bound in small bunches and handed over to all those present in the fair as a present. This is to be preserved as an omen of prosperity.
Folk culture of Kerala can be witnessed in all its splendor during Puthari as the villagers sing conventional songs and perform different types of folk dances in the traditional temple fairs.