Thiruvathira falls on the month of Dhanu (December-January) and is a women's festival. Thiruvathira is a festival connected with Lord Shiva. Kamadeva was destroyed by the fire of the third eye of Lord Shiva. The aim of the celebration is conjugal harmony and happiness.
The dance form Thiruvathirakkali is associated with this celebration. Thiruvathira Kali (Thiruvathira Dance) is an attractive dance form performed by ladies on the day of Thiruvathira festival.
Women observe fast on Thiruvathira. Instead of a rice meal they take preparations of chama (Panicum miliaceum) or wheat besides fruits. There is also a tradition to eat betel leaves of this day. Amongst Namboodiris, Ambalavasis (temple-servants) and Nairs there is a tradition of eating as many as 108 betel leaves on the day.
The festivities begin in the morning. The females assemble in the courtyard and form a group. All of them wore beautiful traditional dresses. Their song and dance is known as Thiruvathirakali. The other members gather around them to see the dance.
Thiruvathirakali is the special feature of this festival. Women got together into a group and start to sing dance in a special round pattern. Thiruvathirakali is one of the traditional dance forms of Kerala. Thiruvathira is most important among the Nair and Namboothiri communities in Kerala.