Makaravilakku or Makara Vilakku festival is observed on the Makara Jyoti Darshanam day near Sarabarimala Ayyappa Temple. It is a week-long festival usually starts on January 14 every year and culminates on January 20. Makara Vilakku 2016 date is 15 January 2016.
This festival begins after the Makara Jyothi darsanam when Malikapurathuama comes on an elephant in a procession to the Patinettampadi (18 divine steps of Sabarimala Ayyappa Sannidhanam) and returns back to her abode.
During the Makara Vilakku festival, Kuruthi Puja is performed. Kuruthi Puja is a ritual of offering Chunnambu water and turmeric powder to Vana devata or forest deities. Some devotees continue their fasting till the culmination of Makaravilakku and Kuruthi Pooja. After Makara Vilakku festival, Sabarimala temple will be closed every year.