The Nilavilakku is integral to all rituals and ceremonies in a traditional Malayali Hindu family. As the sun rises, young girls of the family bring the lighted lamps to the verandah of the house. The girl is joined by the children and elders of the family, especially the grandparents, chanting hymns. In the evening the ritual is repeated alongside evening prayers.
Although the Nilavilakku is most commonly known as a religious object for Hindus, anyone can use it. Traditionally nilavilakku is lighted and kept at the main front entrance to a home which also carries some belief. Many Christians have the lamps in their churches and homes. Most all Indians believe in the superstitions associated with the Nilavilakku.
Lighting the Nilavilakku on any occasion is believed to be auspicious. Nilavilakku plays an important role at the presentation of various art forms. The art forms are performed after lighting the lamp. It is also used for film shooting ceremonies in South Indian cinema.
Nilavilakku is normally made of bronze.Normally cow ghee is used as oil. There are thre ways of lighting one with only one fire towards the god, otherwise two and third alternative is with five firing position. The cotton twain is used for firing.
- The rendezvous book of Kerala: activities & experience. Kerala (India). Dept. of Tourism. 2006. p. 83.
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