Kazhial emerges as an important part of the Church festivals

Kazhial emerges as an important part of the Church festivalsKazhial also spelled as “Kazhiyal Aattam” is a street play art, performs together with singing, dancing and striking the sticks by the artists in the ancient period over South Travancore, now at Kanyakumari. Now-a-days, the art emerges as an important programme of the Church festivals in the South India, especially in Kanyakumari. This was created or shaped by the Christian Missionaries served 200 years ago for the purpose of men to be mingled with the public and to repel the Chalara from the public. Kazhial is also an excise and excites agility and fellowship.

Kazhial or Kazhiyal Aattam

Kazhial is an art which is performed by the way of dancing and singing together, by striking the sticks. The artists consisting of eight or ten persons in a group performs Kazhial attam by forming a circle. Every artists will be holding two small sticks one at each hand and will strike their own sticks as well as strike the sticks of other artist also. Kazhial Aattam is also termed as Kazhiyal, Kazhaladi, Kazhlal, etc. The venue where Kazhial is performed is said to be Kalari or Ilangam. In ancient days, Kazhial Aattam is found to be done only during the night times. A lighted lamp is placed above the Mortar which is kept upside down. This art is performed by the artists by standing around the mortar kept upside down with the lighted lamp.
While performing Kazhial Aattam, the initial music is raised by the striking of sticks. The bell anklets has been attached to the sticks and also been tied to the legs. This is performed in the district of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari at various celebrations, such as Christmas, New Year, Church Celebrations, etc. Most often this art is performed at villages and hence the audience seems to be the villagers.
Recently, a team headed by Mr.Issac Davidson, Church Member of James Town CSI Church has performed Kazhial during the Annual Day celebration of Youth Fellowship at Devicode C S I Church near Karungal. The programme was organised by the Secretary of Youth Fellowship- Mr.Delfin Raj. Rev.G.N. Rajakumar, District Minister and Rev.S.John Franklin Raj, Assistant Pastor of the church graced the occasion. Youth fellowship members and church members were participated the celebration.
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