Puthari also known as Huthari in some regions of South India is a joyous harvest festival. It is celebrated in the Malayalese month of Chingam [August-September] after the paddy harvest. At this time, rice just formed is brought into the house from the field and de-husked. On seeing the result of their hard work and toiling, the farmers rejoice, dance and sing. Puthari villagers celebrate after they gather in temples that are the centres of cultural activities.
Celebrating Puthari Festival:
The word ‘Puthari’ means new rice. Festival symbolises the solemn beginning of the use of new rice from freshly conducted harvest season. This new rice is used as an offering in the temple. Traditionally, Pal Payasam [sweet pudding made with rice and milk] is prepared with new rice. This Pal Payasam is offered to the Lord on this auspicious occasion.
Another custom of Puthari entails cutting of the little paddy crops that are ready for harvest. Small bunches are bound and handed over as gifts to people attending the fair. These gifts are preserved as an omen of prosperity.
Folk culture of Kerala can be witnessed in all its splendour during Puthari. Villagers sing conventional songs and perform different types of folk dances in the traditional temple fairs.