The annual festival at Malanada is known as "Malakkuda" (Mala means hill top the temple and Kuda means umbrella an ornamental one used by Oorali, the priest, during ceremonial occasions.). It is celebrated during the summer, during the second half of March every year - an interval, when the terrestrial agricultural activities are over and before starting paddy cultivation in the wet land (paddy fields). The second Friday of the Malayalam month "Meenam" is reckoned for celebrating "Malakkuda" ( Meenam starts in the middle of March and ends in the middle of April). The arrival of the festival is proclaimed by "Kodiyettu" (the temple flag hoisting ceremony by Oorali after due observance) on the first Friday of Meenam. Presently, although there is festivity for 8 days from Kodiyettu to Malakkuda, there is no change in the rituals connected therewith.
On the festival day afternoon Oorali accompanied by his aids visits "Gurukkalssery Bhagavathy Temple" and invites Devi to Malanada. Bhagavathy arrives Malanada in a procession and occupies her reserved seat (Mandapam in front of Malanada Temple). Thereafter Oorali goes to his abode at Kaduthamsserry Kottaram and gets ready with "Kachakettu" (wearing his priestly attire) with the help of his aidis, viz. "Thalikkaran" & Kalassakkaran" and "Naluveedar". The team led by Oorali first worships at Malanada and thereafter proceed to "Muravukandam" via "Adaipad" to witness and bless the most spectacular and colourful event of the day known as the "Kettukazhcha".
Kettukazhcha is a pageantry. It is the most splendid part of the Maha Malakkuda Maholsavam. It involves a spectacular display of craftsmanship in the form of "Edupu kala" and "Edupu kuthira". The orderly display of hundreds of such pieces, big and small, either as offering by believers for favours received or to be received or as customary by the 7 Karakal (7 divisions of Malanada Appooppan's territorial jurisdiction) in the vast stretch of the dry paddy fields surrounded by thousands of spectators viewing from far and near in the descending sun, renders a panoramic view. This is the essence of the festival. Oorali after having an overall view of the scene from his designated spot, visits and blesses each and every such display item. By around sunset the "Kettukazhcha" one by one moves up the Malanada hill, rounds the temple 3 times and thereafter returns or parks on the hill for the night. There will be cultural programmes during night. Kathakali based on the story "Nizhalkuthu" is customary.