Festivals of Kerala
Kerala has a number of festivals, mostly related with their religious institutions. A showcase to the traditional lifestyle and performing arts of Kerala, these festivals are characterized by vibrant music and dance, elaborate elephant processions and amazing fireworks. There are Utsavas of the Hindu temples and also the Perunals of Christian and Muslim churches that are celebrated with same enthusiasm and festivity along with the most famous occasions of the boat races, which have acquired an important place in the lives of Keralites. Here, we have covered the major events of the region: -
One of the important festivals of Kerala, it is the Nre Year eve according to the old traditional Malayalam calendar and falls in the month of April. 'Kani-Kanal' is prepared in big pots comprising of coconuts, fruits, cereals and Konna flower in the night before the festival and behind the pot, a mirror and the garlanded deity of Krishna are kept. It is the first thing that people see as a good omen when they get out of bed and ask for the blessings of the God. In Kerala, the Kani in the temples of Guruvayur, Ambalapuzha and Sabarimala are famous.
Durga Puja of Bengal, Dussehra of Bombay and the Saraswati Puja and the Ayudha Puja of the South, it is a 10-day long festival devoted to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. In Travancore especially, the Navaratri is a state ceremony celebrated with great magnificence since the times of Padmanabhapuram when the Maharaja of Trivandrum stood in the Verandah of the 'Karivelappura Malika' in front of the Trivandrum temple and threw money to the masses standing below.
Deepawali Or Diwali
Deepavali is the festival of lights and crackers and sweets and is celebrated to commemorate the riddance of the world from the oppression of the Naraka by the god Krishna. The chief feature in the celebration of this festival is the oil bath early in the morning.
It is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Goddess Bhagvati. The houses are illuminated and people flock to the temple of the goddess and make offerings. In the evening, women go out to worship the goddess.
Maha Siva Ratri
'Maha Siva Ratri' or the great night of Siva, is celebrated in the month of March. On this day, people fast. The celebration of this festival at Siva temple at Alwaye on the banks of the Periyar River is a splendid one. The Lingam of Siva is worshipped for the entire night. A fair is held on a very large scale featuring shows, dances and dramas.
The festival of womenfolk of Kerala, it is celebrated to commemorate the death of Kamadevan, the cupid of Hindu mythology and then was granted an eternal spiritual life to him by Lord Siva. The maidens of the Nair families perform rituals since early morning and enjoy swings accompanied by songs and music. Special delicacies are prepared and a dance known as Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikkali is performed by a group of women dancing in a circle around a lighted brass lamp wearing traditional dresses and singing exclusive Tiruvathira songs.
Onam is the most renowned festival of Kerala. A festival of flowers, it is a 10-day long harvest festival featuring songs and Kathakali dance performances, feasting, various indoor and outdoor games and boat races. According to a popular legend, on this day, the great, mighty and kind demon king of the region known as Mahabali returns to his people every year after he was condemned to live in abyss as a result of one of the deceitful ploys of God Vishnu, which he played to save the Kingdom of Gods from him but granted him an annual trip to his people. Onam celebrations are to ensure a colorful reception to King Mahabali. The legend is believed to have happened at Trikkakara, the legendary capital of King Mahabali.
Touted by UNESCO as "the most spectacular festival event on the planet", Thrissur Pooram, celebrated in the month of April/May, is literally a behemoth of festivities that surpass everything else. On the day of Pooram, the sight of beautifully clad fifty or more elephants passing through the streets of Thrissur on the sound of beating drums is simply otherworldly. But this glorifying sight of the creatures isn't the only highlight of the Thrissur Pooram, for the 36 hour long celebrations of the festival are undertaken with utmost discipline, following a proper schedule that begins with routine puja and ends with grand display of fireworks that match the best in the world.