Kerala known as God’s Own Country is considered as the land of festivals with its traditions and cultures. There are several festivals in Kerala that speak about the state’s history, culture, and beliefs. Festivals of Kerala are a perfect mix of dynamic colors, admiring culture, lively music, rare rituals, and century-old traditions. Each festival is unique and has its own distinct fragrance and music. These festivals give you a glimpse of Kerala’s culture and tradition. Here is a list of important festivals in Kerala, have a look and be moved.
Important Festivals of Kerala
1. Onam Festival
Place: All over Kerala
Onam is one of the most important festivals in Kerala. This ten-day festival also known as the harvest festival of Kerala falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam. Each and everyone in the state celebrates Onam with great enthusiasm irrespective of their community, caste, creed, and color. It is also the festival that commemorates the Vishnu avatar named Vamana and the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali.
Onam is a 10 days festival with four main days of Onam and the most important is Thiru Onam. During Onam, everybody in the state gets drenched in the festive spirit with various exciting events and activities like Pookalam decorations, Boat Race, delicious Onasadya with Payasam, Pulikali, Kummati kali, etc.
2. Vishu Festival
Place: All over Kerala
Vishu is an auspicious occasion of Kerala, which marks the beginning of the new year for the people of Kerala. It is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam calendar. The most inevitable part of the festival is the Vishukani. The celebration also involves decorating houses and bursting firecrackers. The other major highlights of Vishu are Vishu Kaineetam, Vishu Sadya, Vishu Kodi, and Vishu Kali.
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3. Thrissur Pooram
Place: Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur
Thrissur Pooram is one of the famous temple festivals in Kerala, held at Vadakkunathan temple located in Thrissur. Pooram is considered the Mother of all Poorams and is celebrated annually on the day when the moon is seen with a star called Pooram. Pooram is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva who is the presiding deity of Vadakkunnathan Temple. This festival is celebrated vibrantly showcasing elephants adorned with ornaments, spectacular fireworks, dazzling parasols, and the rich musical heritage of the state.
4. Kerala Boat Festivals
Place: Different venues across Kerala
Kerala is known in the world for its backwaters. And the serene beauty of the backwaters is elevated and turns lively during the Boat Festival. The boat race is usually held between July and September, the most popular races are the Nehru Trophy Boat Race and Champakulam Moolam Boat Race. The Kerala boat race is all about enthusiasm and most importantly sync between the participants. The vibrancy of the festival must be experienced and no words can explain how thrilling and exciting the boat race is.
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5. Theyyam Festival
Place: North Malabar, mainly in the Kolathunadu region
Theyyam is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in North Malabar of Kerala. This 800-year-old festival showcases art and folk dances. This is celebrated between December and April. There are over 400 different varieties of Theyyam dances. Some of the best Theyyam performances among them are Kari Chamundi, Wayanad Kulaven, Muchilottu Bhagavathi, and Raktha Chamundi. Performers of Theyyam dress up as deities for the dance and are performed in front of a shrine. Mythological stories are enacted in each performance and could last for 12 to 24 hours with breaks. This festival is an integral part of the ancient tribal culture of Kerala.
6. Attukal Pongala
Place: Attukal Bhagavathi Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Attukal Pongala is one of the renowned festivals of Kerala celebrated in the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple located in Attukal, Thiruvananthapuram. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi and celebrated for 10 days. It is a women-centric festival, Women from across the state visit the temple and take part in the festival. Entry of men is strictly prohibited inside the temple. The festival also received the Guinness Record for hosting the largest single gathering of women annually.
The festivals in Kerala celebrate the traditions that are passed down from ancestors. Whether it is Onam, Eid, or Christmas, the entire state rejoices with one spirit to bring the entire coastal State to life. Kerala is home to a great heritage of festivals with religious occasions to festivals for specific deities. The spirit and essence of the land are personified in each of these festivals and these experiences will be forever etched in your heart.
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