Thiranottam is a rite in Kathakali performed by characters like Kathi, Kari and Thadi before entering the stage. In this, the actor grips the top edge of the curtain and gracefully looks on the flame of the Kalivilakku (traditional tall wick lamp used for Kathakali performances).
The predominant emotion of his character in the following part of the play would be conveyed through his eyes. For Kathi characters, round ornamental fans would be held on both sides of the artiste’s face. This is believed to enhance the valorous grace of the character.