Theyyam, also known as Theyyattam, is a 1500-year-old ritual dance form predominantly performed in northern Kerala. This art form combines myths, traditions and customs that are associated with temples and small shrines called kavu or groves. This art form is performed inorder to appease the gods and ask for their blessings. Kasargod is famous for this art form and every year, tourists from all over the world flock to witness this vibrant performance. The theyyam season starts in November and lasts till the end of May. Different types of Theyyam are performed in the region and the costumes are changed according to the role played. The makeup and the costume speak volumes about the character and the associated god and goddess. There are 456 different variations of this art form.
The two most famous Theyyam are performed in the sacred groves of Perumthitta Tharavad and Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam. The Theyyam festival performed at Perumthitta is held over ten days and celebrated in all its grandeur. It showcases different Theyyam forms like Ilayur, Chamundi, Panchoorla and Muthor Theyyam. Kanathoor Theyyam festival displays a total of 40 different Theyyam forms.