Competitions for Pookkalam decorations attract participants in great numbers during Onam. Spectators also come in large numbers to witness and enjoy the innovative and artistic designs created by the participants. Due to the immense popularity of these competitions, many groups and societies organize them across the state and give away huge prizes to the winners.
Art is an expression of heart, but in case with Pookkalam designs, the participants do not hesitate in using technology also. They first prepare the basic design on their computers, do the required changes and then implement the final draft on floor. This not only helps in designing spectacular Pookalams, but also saves the energy and time of designers.
Pookkalam competitions have become an inherent part and major attraction of the festivities of Onam. These competitions are organized by various committees during Onam, where groups are formed taking age as the criteria. The floral carpets are given to the participants, on which, the designs are to be laid out. Afterwards, these designs are judged on the basis of flower arrangement and quality of the design.
The designs made during Pookkalam competitions can be simple as well as complex. The most common designs in these competitions include those of birds, like parrot and peacock, or that of King Mahabali or simply themed on Kerala or the festival of Onam as a whole. Kathakali face is also one of the most favorite designs between the participants. The art of making a Pookalam is a creative and unique task prevalent among the people of Kerala.