Life is a celebration in Kerala “God’s own Country”. Kerala with its beautiful landscapes has more than enough reason to celebrate. And the varied culture of the state has given expression to a colorful mosaic of festivals and fairs. A close look at the Kerala calendar will reveal that this is a land where the festivals never end, adding to the magnificence of the festivals of Kerala are fleets of caparisoned elephants, mounted by men holding white plumes swaying in the air the - most breathtaking of Kerala’s visual wonders. There is no dearth of festivals in the state, the excitement speaks during the season of Onam, exemplified in the legendary boat races and the week - long festivities, understandably, all these celebrations take place with a lot of fanfare.
Maramom Convention: This Convention is 16 km from Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, on the banks of river pamba in february, every year.
- Considered the largest gathering of Christians in Asia.
- Bible study and discourses by scholars from India and abroad.
- Religious readings
- Faith healing sessions
- People arrive in country crafts (valloms)
Nehru Trophy Boat Race: One of the greatest events on the backwaters of Kerala and is held on the second Saturday of august every year. Magnificent snake boats compete for the prized trophy which was instituted by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India.
- Ceremonial water procession
- Spectacular water floats
- Decorated boats
- Races of smaller country crafts
- Chundanvellom race.
Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race: The event is a memorial to the former prime minister.
- Colourful water procession
- Water floats
- Boat races
Attachamayam: The festival of Attachamayam is held on the Atham day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (August/ September), at the historical town of Tripunithura, near Kochi. It is a celebration of a legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi. Pomp and colour mark the pageantry, which is replete with caparisoned elephants, varieties of folk art forms, floats and musical ensemble. This spectacular procession marks the beginning of the Onam Festival.
Onam: Onam is the annual harvest festival of Kerala. Celebrations are on for ten days, beginning with the atham day of the Malayalam month chingam.
- Floral decorations
- Elephant processions
- Classical and folk dance performances
- Classical and folk music recitals
- Cultural pageants
- Water carnivals
Aaranmula Boat Race: The Aaranmula Boat Race is staged each year in the scenic village of Aaranmula in August/ September in the season of Onam. This river carnival is part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Masses throng the shores of the River Pamba to watch an imposing cluster of snake boats called 'Palliyodams'. Each boat, nearly 100 feet long, is a remarkable feat of craftsmanship, with the stem curved to resemble the hood of a snake and a tampering bow. Festooned with silk and gold spangled umbrellas, the boats are manned by a crew of more than 100 men.
Thrissur Pooram: This festival held at Thekinkadu Maidan at Thrissur in the month of May
- Pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants assembled in the precincts of the vadakumnathan temple the Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- The nearby paramekavu and thiruvambadi temples are also take part in the festival.
- Kudamattam (changing of umbrella from hands to hands)
- Chendamelain (kind of drums)
- Panchavadyam (five typical instruments played)
- Spectacular fireworks display
Easter: Easter is the oldest Christian festival, is celebrated in Kerala, with the same enthusiasm and solemnity as in any other part of the world and is held with Easter Sunday sometime between March 22 and April 25. The celebrations commemorate the central tent of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Cochin Carnival: Cochin Carnival is a merry making feast observed during the last week of every year in Fort Kochi in Kerala. The carnival dates back to the Portuguese New Year revelry held here during the colonial days. It has evolved as an occasion for the youth to enjoy the party-like atmosphere. With unique games, competitions and illumination during these days, Fort Kochi puts on a festive look. The highlight of the Carnival is the massive procession on the New Year Day. The procession is led by a caparisoned elephant accompanied by drums and music, spectacular floats, different folk art forms, Panchavadyam etc. north Indian dances also figure in the festivities.
Oachira Temple Festival: The Oachira Temple is the venue of the famous Oachirakkali (Oachira dance) held in June, a sort of ancient choreographed mock battle. Unlike other temples, there is no shrine or idol at the Oachira temple, located nearly 32 kms from Kollam. The principal deity is a concept called Parabrahmam (Cosmic Consciousness). Rows of men dressed up in ancient soldier's costumes wave wooden swords and shields and advance and retreat to the rhythm of traditional drums.
Jagannatha Festival: This Festival is a colourful eight-day festival, which is held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February/ March) at the Jagannatha Temple at Madathiparambu, which is near Thalassery in Kannur. The idol of Lord Siva, the presiding deity was installed here by the famous social reformer and philosopher, Sree Narayana Guru on 13th February, 1908. The seventh day of the festival is the most auspicious. The events highlights religious conferences participated by eminent scholars and social reformers, elephant processions, fireworks display and cultural programmes.
Malabar Mahotsava: The Malabar Mahotsavam (Celibration) is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year. The festival highlights musical concerts, performances of various classical dances like Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Ottanthullal etc. and ritual art forms like Koothu, Thewam, Thira etc. This festival is also an occasion to relish the native cuisines and enjoy mind blowing firework displays.
Muharram: Muharram is the opening month of the Hijra year. On the 10th day of the month May is honoured by the Muslims of Kerala. As per belief, it was on this day that the Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his men were slain at Karbala. It is to bemoan the martyrdom of the Imam that the Muslims observe Muharram. Fasting is an important ritual of this day.
Sabarimala Festival: Sabarimala Temple festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Ayyapa who is revered by all in India. Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayappa. The main pilgrimage is undertaken between November and January. There are two main rituals called the Mandala Puja and the Makara Sankranti Puja, which is celebrated from November to mid-January in Kerala during this time, the devotees perform austerities and penance.
Vettukadu Perunal: The Madre De Teus Church, popularly known as Vettukadu church, this Church is situated 7 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. The annual festival of the church is celebrated over the ten days culminating in the last Sunday of the laturgical year. Various religious rites are carried out during the festival days. On the last Saturday, the image of Christ the king is taken out in a big colorful procession. A solemn High Mass, sermons, Eucharistic procession and benediction mark the final day.