Saturday, 18 March 2017

Kerala the land of festivals and carnival

Christmas and New Year in Kochi are the big time for festivals

KERALA, INDIA: Festivals in Kerala are true celebrations in God's Own Country; occasions when grandeur prevails over the characteristic simplicity of the Kerala lifestyle. Besides being occasions for merry-making, festivals of Kerala have traditionally been preservers of the art and culture of this land. 

Whether religious or social, traditional or modern, a festival here is never complete without an art event which would range from the 2000-year-old Kutiyattam to stage shows.

Christmas is one of the biggest festival in Kerala, and the highlight of New Year festival is at Kochi, with the famous Cochin Carnival and Lighting of Papanai. The New Year is welcomed at Kochi, by lighting a huge Santa-like figure called Papanai to bid adieu to former year and light to welcome New Year. This is followed by a gala party with dance and music till morning.

Festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. There can be changes in the dates. Browse Festival Calendar to know more about specialties and dates.

Chettikulangara Bharani:

One of the most vibrant festivals of Kerala, the Chettikulangara Bharani offers visuals and showcases the cultural of the state. An annual event held at the Chettikulangara Temple during the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February-March), the festival is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy.

Attukal Pongala:

Pongala is the largest crowd of women in the state, is celebrated at Attukal Bhagavathi Temple in Kerala's capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. The festival entered the Guinness records for being the largest single gathering of women for a religious activity. Only women are allowed to participate in the ritual.

Paripally Gajamela:

The event witnesses parading of as many as up to 50 elephants. Further, a host of cultural programmes are staged as part of this event on the temple premises. The elephants are paraded on the last day of the ten-day festival.

Kottangkulangara Chamayavilakku

A gender bender of a festival where men cross dress, the Kottangkulangara celebrated at the Kottangkulangara Devi Temple in Kollam stands apart from the rest of the festivals in Kerala with this unique flavour. This novel event is part of a special temple ritual during the festival. Men dressed up in women's attire bearing traditional lamps will swarm the premises of the temple. They will then move as a procession towards the temple. This unique festival attracts hordes of crowds each year.

Alpashi Utsavam:

The temple in the capital city of Kerala is famous for fascinating stories and legends associated with it and attracts tourists from near and far. Alpasi festival usually falls in October or November. The most fascinating part of the festival is the holy bath in the sea. The procession comprises decorated elephants.

Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race

Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race at Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha. The event is a memorial to the former prime minister. Festival highlights: Colourful water procession Water floats Boat races.

culled from

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