Vidyarambham in Kerala – Initiating Children to the World of Knowledge on Vijayadashami Day.


The nine-day Navratri festival and the Vijayadashami day in Kerala is mainly dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi and is noted for the Vidyarambham ceremony. In 2014, the date of Vidyarambham is October 3. On the Vidyarambham day, young children are introduced into the world of alphabets or letters and they take the first step into the world of knowledge.

The Vidyarambham festival is a unique annual event held in Kerala on the Vijayadashami day. This initiation of children into the world of learning is performed by parents, grand parents, elders, writers, teachers and other renowned personalities associated with literature. They adorn the role of Guru to the children.

The children sit on the lap of the guru and the guru writes ‘Hari Shree’ on the child’s tongue with a golden ring. Then, the child writes ‘Hari Shree Ganapathye Namaha’ in Malayalam with the right index finger, with the help of the Guru, on a bed of raw rice.

The Vidyarambham ceremony is a major event at the Thunchan Parambu, dedicated to Thunchath Ezhuthachan, who is considered as the Father of the Malayalam language. Thousands of children partake in the initiation ceremony here and it is a great sight to watch the young children entering to the world of knowledge – some highly enthusiastic, some crying, some adamant and some curious.

Other important places where the Vidyarambham ceremony is held are the Kollur Mookambhika Temple, Paravur Dakshina Mookambika Temple, Panchikadu Saraswathi Temple, Thiruvallukavu, Chottanikara Devi Temple, Ezhukone Mookambika Temple, Poonthanam House, Kalakathu House and Ramapuram Variyamparambil.

The ceremony is also conducted by publishing houses, newspapers and other social and religious organizations.

Students keep there books for puja; workers, mechanics, craftsmen, engineers and all people who make living with tools and other implements perform Saraswathi pooja and Vishwakarma pooja. On the Ayudha Puja day, the books and tools are not touched. The pooja is broken and the books and tools are taken on the Vidyarambham day.
Related