Chozhikali is an entertainment prevalent in central Kerala. Also known as Chozikettu, Chozhikali are of two types - Kudachozhi and Thiruvathirachozhi and among this kudachozhi is popular in Palakkad region.
There are many legends about Chozhikali. It is believed that Chozhi is a blessing granted by Lord Shiva to his consort Goddess Parvathy. In some areas it is believed that Chozhi means Lord Shiva’s bhoothaganangal (spirits of Lord Shiva).
Children don the garbs of Chozhi. They cover their bodies with plantain leaves. The elders also don the costumes of other characters.
Thiruvathirachozhi is celebrated as part of Thiruvathira. The Chozhi’s come out early in the morning on Thiruvathira in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December/January). In some parts of Kerala, the play begins from midnight. The chozhis sing a variety of songs. These were very popular in Valluvanadan houses on Thiruvathira days. This entertainment is, however, almost extinct today.