I would love it if one of our Indian Orthodox brothers could give us more information about the tradition behind the Margam Kali:
One of our posters, Surajiype, has kindly provided me with information about the Margam Kali, which he told me I could repeat here:
"Margam Kali is a folk dance of the Syrian Christians of Kerala, as far as I know both the Orthodox and Syrian Catholics have this tradition (since this is a pre-portuguese tradition). Margam means the Way and refers to the Way of the Nazarene. Kali means play, in this context it refers to the dance.
The dance is done around a large brass lamp and it is usually associated with Christ.
The lyrics most commonly speak about the Apostolic ministry of St Thomas in India, the conversion of the 7 brahmin clans and the spread of the Way in Malabar.
Such a dance has a close parallel in the Hindu tradition, on the most important harvest festival of Onam (which falls in a day or two), hindu women gather around a lamp placed in a large vessel containing harvested rice and perform a dance similar to what the Christian women do.
You can also see the traditional dress of the Syrian Christian women in the video, such dress was common till my grandmothers generation, nowdays girls just dress up once in a while like this. Like the Ethiopians, Indians had a penchant for white and it was mandatory for men and women to wear white when going to Church in the olden days."