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Kerala Festivals

Festivals are an inherent part of every Keralite. If you have to see Kerala in its full bloom, see it during the festivals. We have listed only the prominent festivals, but there's much more to this list.

The most popular festival of Kerala is also the harvest festival. It is a 10 day festival which falls between August and September. Highlights being the floral decorations called Athpookalam, boat races, carnivals, dances, and music.

It is the astronomical New Year when the sun crosses the equator. Among the various Hindu festivals in Kerala, Vishu occupies a unique position in more than one respect. As symbol of the unostentatious Malayali, Vishu is free from the usual pomp and show and merry-making associated with other festivities. When almost all the festivals are connected in some way or other with religion, Vishu has nothing to do with it, though it is observed with religious solemnity. The first day for Medam is the unchangeable day of Vishu, whereas other festivals are determined according to the lunar asterisms on which they fall.

Christmas celebrated to honour the glory of the nativity of Jesus on 25th December is the most significant and spectacular of Christian festivals. No other celebration is so enriched with so many customs and ceremonies. There is an array of spectacles like Christmas Star, Christmas tree, the Crib, Christmas cake, Christmas presents and the Christmas Father. The last named is quite a fascinating personage, who claims above all to be the very embodiment of the most vibrant and quintessence of the gayest of all the festivals. Children allowed to occupy the central stage, in the enchanted company of Christmas Father, Christmas takes on the look of a festival of children. The mood is set with the advent of the season by the twinkling of Christmas stars and there is no home or shop without the Christmas star, the beautiful pointer to the Babe of Bethlehem. The Christmas tree is a new feature in Kerala, perhaps less than sixty or seventy years old. The crib is a miniature production of the stable where Jesus was born.

The religious festival of Christians is celebrated in April. Lent of 50 days is followed by many. The festival is marked by Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter celebrations.

The festival of sacrifice is celebrated by Muslims in April. It is to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim Nabi to offer his son as sacrifice to God. Prayers and feast mark the occasion.

Also known as Id ul fitr is marked by the holy month Ramzan, wherein fasting during the day is performed to cleanse the body and soul. The festival begins with the citing of moon in the western horizon. Celebrations are marked by prayers and feast.

The 10 day long festival is celebrated in the month of September - October. Offerings are made to goddess Saraswati. The festival is marked by dance and music.

An exclusive Hindu festival celebrated during the month of December- January. Dances and rituals are performed invoking Lord Siva. Women dress in the traditional attire called Kasavu mundu.

Muslims bemoan the slaying of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed at Karbala in May.

Miladi Sharif
Nabi Danam is the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad in July.

It is the celebration of victory by Lord Krishna over demon Narakasura. The legend also says it is the celebration of victory over evil achieved by slaying Ravana by Ram. The highlights of the festivals are crackers, lights and sweets.

Literary translation is “Night of Siva'. Legend says Gods and demons were jointly churning the sea of milk to extract Amruth using Vasuki-the serpent god, as rope. During the rigorous task Vasuki spewed out venom, which could destroy the cosmos. Lord Siva is believed to have swallowed the venom to save the world. The festival is to commemorate the victory and to pay gratitude to Lord Siva.

Performed on the new moon day of Malayalam month of Karkadom which falls in July – August, to propitiate the souls of ancestors at the banks of certain religiously prominent rivers, along with the ritual offering for the external peace of departed souls.

Other Festivals
Arattu, Attukal Pongala, Beema Palli Chandakundam, Vettukadu Perunnal, Nishagandhi Dance Festival, Oachirakkali, Paripally Gajamela, Kottankulangara Chamayavilakku, Arthunkal perunnal, Nehru Boat Race, Edathu Perunnal, Chettikulangara Bharani, Parumalaunnal, Aranmula Boat Race, Mandalam Festival, Maramon Convetion, Thirunnakkara Festival, Ettumanoor Festival, Elamkavu Attuvela, Manarkkad Perunnal, Kodungallor Bharani, Edappali Perunnal, Indira Gandhi Boat Race, Athachamayam, Kanjiramattom Festival, Malayatoor Perunnal, Jewish Festivals, Thrissur Pooram, Machattu Vela, Arrattupuzha Pooram, Uthralikavu Pooram, Konganapada Festival, Pattambi Nercha, Nenmara Vela, Kalpathy Ratholsavam, Valliyoorkkavu Festival, Thirunelli Festival, Kondotty Nercha, Malabar Maholsavam, Parassikkadavu festival, Jagannatha Festival, Palotukkavu Festival, Madur Manantheswara Vinayaka temple Festival, Thappotsavam etc.

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