Among the most popular traditional dance forms of South India, the religious and artistic dance of Mayilattam is performed in reverence of Lord Subrahmanya, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Literally translated, it means the dance of the peacocks and is performed during certain Hindu festivals. Performers dress up as peacocks with a beak that opens and closes with the use of a thread. They dance on long sticks of wood that are attached to their feet. The dance is performed only by women who dress up as Lord Subrahmanya travelling on a peacock. It requires great skill and intricacy of movement and is a mesmerising affair to watch. It is generally performed during the famous and flamboyant Arattu festival.

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