Thirra is a ritual dance of North Malabar region in the Kerala State, South India, performed in Bhagavati temples. In most of the area of North Malabar region, Thirra is known as Theyyam. Thirra is performed primarily in Thalassery and Vadakara areas. This art form is performed by the artists of Peruvannan (Vannan) community. It has maximum similarity with Theyyam. This art is performed during Utsavam (Annual temple festival). Clan deities such as Bhagavathi, Vishnu, Shiva are worshipped in these forms.

Thirra brings the gods to life. Performers dress up with ceremonial facial paint and loud clothing and dance in front of the deity, the bhagwati. The objective clearly is to bring a sense of awe to the proceedings. Each performer represents a particular deity and is sponsored by devotees as a prayer offering. These dancers are viewed as possessed by the gods when they are in their act, with devotees queuing up to meet them to share woes and wishes.

Toddy plays a very significant role in the proceedings,it is an offering to the gods and almost all the performers dance under the influence. This helps in creating the feeling of "possessed". The performers belong to the "Malayan" caste of tribals, who are given prime importance in Thirra and Theyyam. Therefore in Kerala, both upper caste Brahmins, and lower caste tribals have an important place in worship.

Different types of Thiras

  1. Bhagavati Thirra
  2. Bhairavan Thirra
  3. Chanthu Thirra
  4. Gulikan Thirra
  5. Kuttichathan Thirra
  6. Hanuman Thirra
  7. Pottan Thirra
  8. Kandakarnan Thirra
  9. Chamundi Thirra
  10. Vasurimala Thirra
  11. NagaKali Thirra
  12. Dharikavadham Thirra
  13. Naga Kaali Thira
  14. Bhadra kaali Thira
  15. Raktheshwari Amma
  16. Kurumba Bhagawathi

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