Festivals of Kerala
Kerala is a
land of colourful festivals, which have a long history and
tradition behind them. The Popular Festivals of Kerala include
Onam, Thrissur Pooram, Aarattupuzha Pooram, Boat Race, Attukal
Pongala, Kalpathy Ratholsavam and Vishu.
Main festival of Kerala
The biggest and most important festival, Onam is a harvest
festival celebrated throughout Kerala for four days. According to
legend, it is on the first day that the good Asura King Mahabali
who once ruled Kerala, comes from exile to visit his beloved
people. Homes are adorned with floral decorations in preparation
for his visit. Onam tourist week is a cultural feast of art and
Presentations at 20 venues in Trivandrum and other major
districts. The festival is marked with elephant processions,
Kathakali dances, Fireworks, water carnivals and Vallamkali, the
famous Snake Boat Race. Special feasts prepared for Onam are not
to be missed.
Alleppey really comes alive in the depths of the rainy season,
when it serves as the venue for one of Kerala's major spectacles-
the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race - with raised sterns designed to
resemble the hood of a cobra. More than enthusiastically powered
by upto 150 singing and shouting oarsmen, scores of boats take
part, and Alleppey is packed with thousands of spectators. Other
events at Payippad and Aranmula also display the strength and
rhythm of Oarsmen who set the Backwaters of Kerala on fire.
Thirty caparisoned elephants decorated with gold ornaments, each
ridden by three Brahmins holding objects symbolizing royalty
including colourful umbrellas create a spectacular
sight-especially when accompanied by Chenda Melam, the
quintessentially, Kerala music. Lakhs of people throng to watch
the Trichur Pooram.
The day, 14 April, holds special importance to the people of
Kerala since Vishu heralds the Malayalee New Year. Vishu is the
first day in the first Malayalam month of Medam. Though it is the
ninth month in the new calendar, astrologers continue to follow
the older one and thus consider the first day of Medam to be the
New Year Day.
A nine day festival of the Goddess of knowledge and music, a
musical concert is held every evening for nine days at the
Navarathri Mandapam of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in
Trivandrum. October/November every year.
Deepavali the festival of light and crackers, is celebrated to
commemorate the return of Lord Rama from forest exile. A festival
where populace from all age groups participate in the festivities
to give expression to their delight by lighting earthen diyas,
decorating the houses, bursting fire crackers and inviting the
near and dear ones to their households for sharing in the opulent
feast. The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to god
for accomplishment of health, prosperity, knowledge, peace,
bravery and reputation. The traditional early morning oil bath,
lighting up of little oil lamps, candles and setting alight
crackers and sparklers are the major highlights of this festival.
Girs and boys will be dressed in their newly purchased outfit.
In a hamlet near the enchanting beach resort of Kovalam, an entire
ancient Kerala village is recreated. Replete with traditional
houses, dress, food, crafts and so on. January 14th to 23rd every