ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vedikkettu : Pyrotechnics, Splendour and Extreme Risk

The highly skilled display of fireworks during the Vedikkettu festival brings up concerns around safety, environmental impact, and animal welfare.

As the sun begins its descent towards the horizon, casting a warm golden glow across the landscape, a vibrant scene is set in the heart of a bustling Kerala town. The air is thick with anticipation and excitement as it is time for Vedikkettu, a traditional ritualistic performance of an elaborate and fascinating display of pyrotechnics/fireworks conducted during a temple, church or other auspicious festival. A group of skilled artists dressed in vibrant traditional attire meticulously tie bundles of fireworks to a tall bamboo pole, reaching towards the sky adorned with colourful decorations, intricate patterns, and delicate flowers, creating an enchantment. The firework bundles are arranged symmetrically, forming a mesmerising visual display. A hushed silence falls over the assembled crowd. The pyrotechnicians, now clad in protective gear, approach the pole, their faces glowing with anticipation, and ignite the first firework in unison, setting off a chain reaction that reverberates through the air. A symphony of light and sound ensues as the sky erupts with vivid colours, and thunderous explosions dance and weaves across the canvas of the night, painting ethereal patterns and illuminating the faces of the awestruck spectators below. Each burst of light brings a collective gasp from the crowd, mesmerising them with its beauty and power.

The Vedikkettu performance is a well-coordinated display of fireworks set to the rhythm of traditional percussion music. The fireworks are tied to a wooden frame on a tall bamboo pole of around 70 to 100 feet tall, and the wooden frame at the top can be as big as six feet in diameter. It is a highly ritualised affair, performed by a group of trained professionals. The performance begins with preparing the bamboo pole, cleaned and decorated with flowers and traditional motifs. The wooden frame is attached to the top of the pole, and the firecrackers are tied to it using strong coir ropes. The fireworks are carefully arranged to explode sequentially, creating a stunning display of light and sound.

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Updated On : 12th Jun, 2023
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