THIRAYATTAM - CALICUT
Thirayattam is a temple art form rituals enacted in a courtyard of Kaavukal (sacred groves) and temples of northern Kerala, to attain the blessings from deities or ancestors of the land. It is a blend of dance, drama, music, body painting, masks etc and uses musical instruments like Big or small drums, cymbals or flutes. Fire also plays a prominent role in most of these performances.
Most Kaavukal, where Thiryattam is performed belongs to the main “ Tharavads” (ancestral home) of the land. Though the timings of the event might vary, generally it starts by the early evening and continuous to next day morning, with lot of episodes enacted.
The natives gather to celebrate this festivals with great devotion and fan-fare, staying awake till the next day morning. This festive mood and the excitement of the audience incite the performers to assume the roles of divinities and deliver a vibrant and energetic performances throughout the night. The performers even go into what is described as spiritual trance and walks on the ember, from the fire started before each act.
Source of the description is what I heard from event and my research online. Please feel free to correct me if I misunderstood any of the process or reasons.