The sacred groves witness sarpam thullal a ritualistic dance performed by girls as part of propitiating snake gods during the traditional festival called ayilya mahotsavam observed on the ayilyam star of the local almanac every year. The girls perform the ritualistic dance with unlocked dresses and crawls like snakes on a decorated carpet with traditional songs and musical instruments played by members belonging to the pulluva clan.At the end of the ritual the girls faint on the carpet one after the other due to exhaustion. The whole ceremony lasts till midnight or sometimes till the day break.
The ayilya mahotsavam in the snake temples are celebrated with a host of programmes and will start with snake worship and various other pujas.
There will be rituals like ashtadravya mahaganapathy homam with 1008 coconuts and ceremonial feeding of serpents with milk. The ayilya puja is followed by sarpapattu and sarapabali rituals.
The tradition of serpent cult and serpent worship is ancient in the state and these rituals draw huge crowds since it is believed that the spirits inhabiting the kavu would bless the devotees at the end of ritual according to pullava clan members who perform sarpam pattu.The rituals and rites performed in the sacred groves vary in some regions in accordance with the precedence of region and the patron deity worshipped at the sacred groves.
The ayilyam celebrations commence seven days prior to ayilyam star day and these days are marked by special rituals.