Referred to as God's Own Country, the southern Indian state
of Kerala is renowned for its colorful festivals. Festivals
in Kerala are an integral part of the social and cultural
structure and every community, every religion has something
to celebrate about all through out the year. Kerala wakes up
to some festival or the other every day of the year.
Onam Festival: Onam is celebrated in Kerala when the
August monsoon rains give way to the pleasant warmth of
autumn. Onam is the celebration of the return of Mahabali,
the once and future king. This king ruled "when all men were
equal, when no one was poor, when there was neither theft
nor dread of
Kerala Boat Festivals:
On the great backwaters of Kerala, fierce Vallom Kallies
(boat races) and water carnivals erupt every year in a
dramatic spectacle and hold tens of thousands of people
spell-bound, cheering the action, laying bets, goading the
boatmen to row faster. The water carnivals and snake boat
races herald the week of the great harvest festival of Onam.
It is Kerala's most important celebration and in scores of
villages spread across central Kerala, competitive races
featuring the smaller churulans, oadis, and irrutukuthies
provide expression to the spirit of an intrepid, athletic
people, born and bread near water.
Vishu falls on the first of Medam (March-April), which is
the Malayali New Year's Day. Since it is considered
propitious to view good things on this day for year round
good fortune, Vishu morning is an important time in Kerala.
Thrissur Pooram Festival :
The most spectacular festival of Kerala is Thrissur Pooram.
Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of erstwhile Kochi state,
introduced this festival. Celebrated in Medom (April-May)
the festival parades the fulgent faces of Kerala culture.
With every passing year Tthrissur Pooram, the temple
festival, attracts large masses of devotees and spectators
Payippad Jelotsavam Festival:
Payippad Jelotsavam held in memory for the Prathista
ceremony of Haripad Subramanya temple and therefore has a
religious significance. This festival is celeberated for
three days commencing from the Onam festival day. Snake boat
processions are taken out on the first two days and
competitive boat race take place on the third day.
Attukal Pongala Festival:
Attukal Pongala this is the one and the only temple festival
in the world where lakhs of women assembled together to make
offerings by cooking a pudding for the goddess in the
Attukal temple. It is taken home after the chief priest of
the temple will come and sprinkle the holy water and will
shower the flowers. This festival will come to an end in the
evening with a procession from the temple.
Makaravillakku at Sabarimala Festival:
For centuries, Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta has been a major
pilgrim centre in Kerala attracting lakhs of devotees from
all over India, more so from the southern states. The
presiding deity is Lord Ayyappa known as Dharma Sastha, a
considered symbol of unity between Vaishnavites and
With a large number of Christian population in
Kerala, Christmas is a festival that is celebrated with much vigour and enthusiasm in the state. Easter is also an
important festival in the state. The numerous churches that
are spread across the state brighten up around this time.
Theyyam is one of the popular festivals of Kerala. It is the
worship of the deity; on the other hand, the dancer is also
the deity. Theyyam celebrates primarily the Mother Goddess.
Animals, serpents and trees also figure in worship.
Other important festivals of Kerala are Eid, Muharram,
and other festivals that are traditionally celebrated all
over the country.