When you think of India a lot of people thing of the bright, vibrant, loud festivals that occur across the country throughout the year. Each state has different festivals so here we have bought you some of the famous Keralan festivals so you can see what is on when you’re out there!
Maha Shivratri– Feb/March – this festival is to commemorate the day that Lord Shiva drank poison to save the world. It is celebrated by visiting Shiva temples.
Vishu – April (normally 14th) – it falls on the first day of Medam, which is the first month in the Malayalam calender and is therefore a New Year celebration. It is the day that the Sun enters into the Tropic of Cancer. It is an important day for starting new things. The sighting of the Kani (the lucky gift) is an important ritual and is where people are blindfolded and taken up to see the kani for the first time, this is believed to bring good fortune.
Thrissur Pooram – April/May – a Hindu temple festival occurring in the city of Thrissur, it is also known as ‘the festival of all festivals’. The festival lasts for 36 hours and is a competition between two temples (Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple and Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple), including elephant parades, musical delights from hundreds of musicians, a four to five hour fire work display and a city adorned with ornate festival decorations.
Independence Day – 15th August – on the 15th August 1947 India obtained independence from British Rule, this day is now celebrated across the whole of India. The day is normally celebrated with cultural programs in each State, the roads are adorned with the Indian flag and bunting to mark the occasion.
Asthami Rohini – August/September – this is the birthday of Lord Krishna and is celebrated by visiting Krishna temples and to offer Pooja and prayers, lots of cultural programs occur across Kerala.
Onam – August/September – the date of Onam changes every year but it is a 10 day festival that celebrates the homecoming of King Mahabali, it is a very important time in the Keralan calendar and sees people laying down detailed flower carpets, eating of the traditional Keralan food sadya, the buying of new clothes for friends and family and ornate celebrations from snake boat races to costumed parades. This is really not a festival to miss!
Deepavali/Diwali – October/November- the festival of lights, deepavali literally means a ‘row of lights’. It occurs on the preceding day of the full moon. Houses are decorated and families let off tonne of fireworks from the roofs of their houses.
Christmas – 234th & 25th December – there is a strong Christian community in Kerala so Christmas is an important celebration, parades on Christmas Eve are very popular and it is a time of shopping, parties and parades when whole communities come together.
New Years Eve – December 31st – is celebrated widely in Kerala with special celebrations in Kochi where there is a spectacular carnival at the Fort. A procession is held of New Years Day with elephants, dancers and drummers.