Celebrated to honor harvest, Padayani is a celebration of fertility and happiness. Padayani is performed two districts Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha of Central and Southern Kerala
Padayani, the traditional performing art form of Kerala, to be precise, of central Travancore, is the embodiment of so many elements depicting the innate as well as the acquired, the spiritual as Well as the temporal elements of societal structure of an ethnic group.
The term Padayani and Pateni are equated. The word Padayani had been evolved by combining two different terms pata and ani both having more than one meaning. In one sense, pata means group of soldiers and ani means rows. Hence the term Padayani can be used to mean the artistic performance of soldiers standing in rows and columns. It is this sense that tempts us to interpret Padayani as part of the martial tradition. Of course, there exists row—wise and column—wise movements in the performance, but it is not a mere martial art form. No doubt the traditional martial culture of Kerala has influenced Padayani; but it is basically a ritual, and not a martial art. In fact, it developed over centuries into a performing art with direct and indirect influences of both.