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Home » Festivals in Kerala

Festivals in Kerala

Festival in KeralaFestivity is in the air, thorughout the year, in Kerala. It is a land where festivals never end. A reflection of the varied terrain of the land and the exuberant people, these festivals are connected with a temple, church, mosque or a national phenomenon. The Popular Festivals of Kerala include Thrissur Pooram, Aarattupuzha Pooram, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Attukal Pongala, Kalpathy Ratholsavam and Vishu.

Vibrant and packed with centuries of unbroken tradition, the festivals of Kerala seldom stray far from the realms of magic. A thousand colours. Mesmerising music. Fireworks. Processions of goldbedecked elephants… you will have to keep coming back for a lifetime to really witness this myriad range of experiences.

Onam :
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 folk.

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.

August / September every year.

Boat Races:
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.

Second Saturday of August every Year.

Boat Race in KeralaTrichur Pooram:
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.

Food Festival :
The national food festival flavour, held in Trivandrum is a rare opportunity to taste the traditional, authentic cuisines of Kerala and India.

5th to 11th April every year.

Thirty eaparisoned 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. April/ May every year.

Nishan Gandhi Dance Festival :
India's leading exponents of almost all classical dance forms including Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Mohiniyattam and Kathak perform at the Nishangandhi open-air auditorium at Trivandrum. A grand treat for lovers of dance.

21st to 27th February every year.

Cochin Carnival :
This week- long extravaganza is the best way to ring in the New Year. December 25th to 31st every year. There are dozens of other festivals spread out across the year. Each unique and interesting in its own way.

Kathakali :
Cochin CarnivalThe most popular sacred dance-drama of Kerala, Kathakali evolved across the last 400 years. this classical dance requires lengthy and rigourous training to attain complete control of the body and a sensitivity to emotion so as to be able to render all its nuances through facial expressions and hand gestures. Themes centre around the two great Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha.

Koddiyattam :
Kathakali's 2000 year old predecessor. Koodiyattam is proffered as a votive offering to the deity. A sance traditionally enacted in temple, the purpose of the performance is not so much to entertain as to edify and educate the audience.

Mohiniyattam :
Literally meaning the dance of the celestial dance form contains elements of Bharathanatyam as well as the classical and folk dances of Kerala. Usually performed as a solo dance, Mohiniyattam is very lyrical in its rendering.

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