Mangalore’s unique traditions

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Mangaluru serves as a melting pot of cultures and traditions. Many classical dance forms and folk art are practiced in the city. The tradition of Veshas (disguises) comes alive once a year during Dassehra celebrations in Mangalore, Karnataka. Pilivesha or tiger dance, is a unique form of folk dance performed during Krishna Janmashtami and Dassehra. At this event, young boys and men wear a tiger mask on their face, paint their entire body with yellow and brown stripes, and dance to the beats of the drums.

Karadi Vesha or Bear Dance is another popular dance form that is practiced during the Dassehra celebrations in Mangalore. Equally popular are its folksongs that are passed down generations by word of mouth. Kolata is a valiant folk dance performed with the help of sticks when Kolkai, Beary folk songs are sung. The Bearys distinct traditions are depicted in folk songs such as kolkai, moilanji pat, unjal pat (traditional lullaby), and oppune pat (sung at weddings). Kambala also known as Buffalo race is carried out in paddy fields that are filled with water. Konkatta or Cock fight is a favorite sport of the people of Mangalore.

Kozhi kettu, a spiritual and religious cockfight is conducted at temples and is considered to be a vital part of the culture and the religious activities in Mangalore. Snake worship called Nagaradhane is performed in the city by the Tuluvas in praise of Naga Devatha (the serpent king), who is said to be the protector of all snakes. Aati, an event worshiping Kalenja, a patron spirit of the city, also takes place during the Aashaadha month of Hindu calendar. Besides, events such as Kudlotsava and Karavali Utsav are highlighted by the state and national-level performances in dance, music and drama.

The Eucharistic procession, an annual Catholic religious procession is organized on the first Sunday of each New Year in Mangalore. Don’t miss to witness the spectacle of Eucharistic procession led through the streets of Mangalore. Thus, Mangalore is truly a multicultural city with its distinguished traditional aspects.

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