Painkuni Festival is going to be held from March 20th to March 29th, 2021, at Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. This ten-day long festival celebrates the Malayalam month of Meenam that starts with Kodiyettu – the hoisting of the festival flag on the day of the Rohini asterism and ends with the Aaratt (holy bath) at Shankumugham beach on the day of the Atham asterism.
On the first day, the festival flags are hosted on the Kodimaram or flag posts of the principal deity Padmanabhaswami and Thiruvambadi Krishnan. Special rituals are offered every day and on the ninth day of the festival, the head of the Travancore Royal Family performs the Palli Vetta (royal hunt) ritual. On the tenth day, the Aaratt procession will begin from the western entrance with the deities taken on palanquins and the head of the royal family with other male members of the family will escort the deities in the procession to the Sanghumugham beach. The festival concludes with Aaratt, the ritual immersion of idols in the sea is performed at the Sanghumugham beach.
During the Painkuni Festival, massive figures of the Pandavas ,the five sons of Pandu in the Indian epic Mahabharata, will be placed at the eastern entrance of the temple.