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Fairs & Festivals of Kerala

Duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days
Places to Visit : Onam- Thrissur Pooram -Champakulam — Alleppey -Allepey -Aranmula Vallamkali -Cochin — Makaravilakku-Cochin In kerala, life is a celebration. Just browse through the kerala calendar, it will reveal that this is a land where the festivals never end, adding to the magnificance of the festivals of kerala are fleets of caparisoned elephants, mounted by men holding white plumes swaying in the air the — most breathtaking of kerals’s visual wonders. While there is no dearth of festivals in the state, the excitement speaks during the season of onam, exemplified in the legendary boat races and the week — long festivities, understandably, all these celebrations take place with a lot of fanfare.

Onam

Onam is the annual harvest festival of kerala. Celebrations are on for ten days, beginning with the atham day of the malayalam month chingam.

Highlights: Floral decorations, Elephant processions, Thiruvathirakali, Classical and folk dance performances, Classical and folk music recitals, Cultural pageants, Water carnivals.

Thrissur Pooram

This festival held at Thekinkadu Maidan at Thrissur in the month of May.

Highlights: Pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants assembled in the precincts of the vadakumnathan temple. The nearby paramekavu and thiruvambadi temples are also participants in the festival. Kudamattam (changing of umbralla from hands to hands) Chendamelain ( kind of drums) Panchavadyam ( five typical instruments played) Spectacular fireworks display

Champakulam Boat Race

This is one of the most popular boat races of kerala.

Highlights: Pceremonial water procession, Spectacular water floats, Decorated boats, Vanchipattu (folk song of the oarsmen). The chundanvallom (snake boat, over 100 feet in length, with a Raised prow similar to the hood of a snake) race.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Alleppey)

This is the greatest event on the backwaters of kerala, is held on the second saturday of august every year. Magnificent snakeboats compete for the prized trophy which was instituted by jawaharlal nehru, the first prime minister of india.

Highlights: Ceremonial water procession, Spectacular water floats, Decorated boats, Vanchipattu, Races of smaller country crafts, Chundanvellom race.

Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race (Allepey)

The event is a memorial to the former prime minister.

Highlights: Colourful water procession, Water floats, Boat races.

Aranmula Vallamkali

10 km from chengannur. This traditional boat race conducted at sree parthasarathy temple, aranmula in connection with the onam celebrations is more of a water fiesta than a competition.

Deepavali

Another national festival. Deepavali means the festival of lights. There are many legends connected with the festival. Some say that it is a celebration of sree krishna’s victory over the demon narakasura; others hold that it is the day sree rama returned from exile.

Highlights: All houses are lit with rows and rows of small earthern oil lamps. Special devotional rites to lakshmi., The goddess of prosperity. Entire day of merrymaking and feasting. Distribution of special deepavali sweets. Fireworks and crackers.

Christmas

Christmas is celebrated with equal enthusiasm by all communities in kerala.

Highlights: Stars decorate houses right from the second week of december. Christmas trees, decoration and festive music ring through the state. Midnight mass and special rites at all christian churches. Social and cultural events. Fireworks and colourful illuminations.

Indira Gandhi Boat Race

Indira gandhi boat race on the cochin backwaters. The race is organised as part of celebration cochin.

Highlights: Over sixteen snake boats participate in this scintillating event.

Makaravilakku

Makaravilakku at sree dharamasastha temple, sabarimala. This is one of the few occasions when the temple is open to the public.

Highlights: On the evening of makara sankranthi, the makara vilakku/makara jyothi ( the light of kakara) is believed to be seen on the eastern horizon. Thousands of pilgrims gather here to witness the event. Special devotional rites Devotees are decreed to practise severe austerities and total abstinence for 60 days before climbing the hills to the temple.

Maramom Convention

16 km from thiruvalla, pathanamthitta, on the banks of river pamba in february, every year.

Highlights: Considered the largest gathering of christians in asia, Bible study and discourses by scholars from india and abroad, Religious readings, Hymnals, Faith healing sessions, People arrive in country crafts (valloms)

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