Referred to as God's Own Country, the southern Indian state of Kerala is renowned for its colourful 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 thieves". More »»
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. More »»
Vishu Festival: 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. More »»
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 to Kerala. More »»
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 Saivites.
Christmas Festival: 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 Festival: 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.