Kerala is a beautiful seaside state of India. The state is famous not only for its beautiful beaches, vacuaters, and tourist spots, but also for its culture, Utsavo and the festival celebrated in Kerala. The diverse culture of Kerala is mainly influenced by Hinduism, Christianity and Islam which celebrate festivals in their own way and customs. In the famous Kerala festival, you get to see the rich heritage and culture of the state.
If you also want to join the festivals and festivals celebrated in Kerala or want to know about the major festival of Kerala, then you must read this article in full, in which we have prepared a list of famous festivals for you Kerala. You must know about –
List of major Kerala festivals and festivals
Kerala is most popularly known for the festival of Onam, but apart from this there are other major festivals which we are going to know below –
Onam is the most important and national festival of Kerala which is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm throughout the state. Bat de Onam is a harvest festival also known as Thiruonam and is celebrated at the beginning of the Chingam month of the Malayalam calendar while according to the English calendar falls in August-September. Onam in Kerala is bigger than Diwali, which is the most important festival celebrated all over India. Onam state is celebrated with great fervor by people of every community, caste, creed and class. During this time the small elders take shelter, gifts are exchanged, relatives meet each other and enjoy the feast of the famous Kerala cuisine. If you want to join the famous festival of Kerala then you must visit this state during Onam festival.
- Where is Onam celebrated: all over Kerala state
- When is Onam celebrated: In the months of August to September
Vishu, one of the popular festivals in Kerala, marks the beginning of the new year for the people of Kerala, which is considered the second most important festival in the state after Onam. The festival falls in the Medam month of the Malayalam calendar while on 14, 15, or 16 April in the English calendar. The most important part of the festival is Vishukani. Apart from Kerala, the festival is celebrated in neighboring areas such as Mangalore, Tulunadu and Udupi. Vishu is also called as a festival of fireworks and lights as the festival involves the bursting of firecrackers. It is said that on this day, Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
- Vishu Utsav is celebrated as: all over Kerala
- When is Vishu Utsav celebrated: In the month of April
Thrissur Pooram is one of the largest temple festivals in Kerala celebrated at the Vadakkunathan temple in Thrissur. One of the famous festivals of Kerala, it is a vibrant festival which reflects the rich musical heritage of the state which has been celebrated for almost 200 years. The main attraction of Thrissur Pooram is the worship of Lord Shiva which lasts for about 36 hours. Apart from this, amazing fireworks and parade of decorated elephants are also seen in the festival during this festival. It is believed that 300,000 Jadya people from all over the country participate in this festival, which is unique in itself.
- Thrissur Pooram is celebrated: Vadakkunathan Temple Thrissur
- When is Thrissur Pooram celebrated: April
Thiruvatirakali is one of the major festivals celebrated in Kerala which is celebrated in the month of December or January. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva that is why this day is perfect and very auspicious for worshiping Lord Shiva. All the devotees of Lord Shiva visit the temple on this day for the blessings of the Lord. Whereas on this day, the women get up at 4 am to take a bath and sing songs which are related to the God of love and create a rhythm by sprinkling water with their hands. Finally, the women stand in a circle and sing songs in praise of Cupid.
- Where Thiruvatirakali is celebrated: all over the state of Kerala
- When is Thiruvatirakali celebrated: in the month of December or January
Kerala Boat Festival
The backwaters of Kerala are not only a major tourist attraction, but it is also the site of a thrilling boat race which has been considered one of the major festivals of Kerala. Tell us that the spectacular boat race is held between July and September, in which Indian tourists as well as foreign tourists are also seen quite crowded. An important and attractive part of this boat race is the snake boat, called Chundan Vallam. Another important part of the race is the boat song, called Vanchipattu. This venchipattu is a form of poetry in Malayalam language and is recited during boat races. If you are going to visit Kerala during July and September, do not forget to attend this festival.
- When is the Kerala Boat Race held: Nehru Boat Race – second Saturday of August, while other boat races – between July and September
- Where Kerala Boat Race is held: Near Alappuzha, in Punnamada Lake
North of Theyam is one of the popular festivals in Malabar which is celebrated with great pomp here. Tell us that this festival is about 800 years old, which is still celebrated with the same enthusiasm. In this festival, artists from different parts of India perform dances which are mainly in three stages –
First stage: This is when all the dancers cover themselves with colors, flowers, and masks;
Second stage: During this time people torture themselves which includes walking on fire or killing themselves with slaughtered things.
Third stage: This is the most important stage in which all the dancers dance on a rhythm.
- Where Theyam Festival is Celebrated: Northern Mala
- When is theyam festival celebrated: april and december
Attukal Pongala is one of the most important festivals in Kerala. The festival is celebrated at the Attukal Bhagwati temple, which is located at Attukal in Thiruvananthapuram. During this time women from across the state visit the temple and participate in the Attukal Pongala festival. This festival brings together women of all religions and castes. The festival also holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records when 1.5 million women participated simultaneously on 23 February 1997
The festival is celebrated for ten days and the most important day is the ninth day, when thousands of women from across the state visit the temple to pay their respects to the presiding deity. A unique and most important thing of this festival is that only women are allowed to participate in this festival.
- Where Attukal Pongala is celebrated: At Attukal Bhagwati temple in Thiruvananthapuram
- When is Attukal Pongala celebrated: February to March
Kodungallur Bharani Utsavam
Kodungallur Bharani Utsavam or Kodungallur Bharani is one of the major festivals of Kerala, usually celebrated in Malayalam month Meenam or between the months of March and April. The festival is hosted at Kodungallur Bhagwati, one of the grandest temples in the state in Thrissur. This three-day festival is celebrated as a victory of Bhadrakali’s victory over a demon named Darika. During the festive celebrations, devotees sing and dance in groups and people from different communities participate in the traditional rituals of the temple.
Where Kodungallur Bharani is celebrated: Kodungallur
When is Kodungallur Bharani celebrated: between March and April
Christmas is one of the major festivals in Kerala and all over India, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is mainly celebrated on 25 December which is of equal importance to elders and children and is especially known for Santa gifts. Everyone waits for this day regardless of their religion. On this day all churches are decorated to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. On this day, people go shopping, prepare delicious dishes and decorate their homes. Apart from these, the churches are also decorated with gleaming lights and flowers and celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ.
- Where is Christmas celebrated: All over the state of Kerala
- When is Christmas celebrated: 25 December
Makaravilakku is an annual festival in Kerala celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti. The festival is celebrated with great fervor at the Sabarimala temple, a prominent temple in the south-Indian state of Kerala. The main attraction of the festival is the grand Thiruvabharanam procession. Thousands of devotees come from all over the world to seek blessings on the auspicious day of Makarvilakku. One of the most important rituals of the Makaravilakku festival is lighting the lamp at Ponnambalamedu which is located 4 kilometers from the Sabarimala Ayyappan temple in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. It is known as the Hill of the Golden Temple, lighting the lamp here commemorates the religious festival of Makaravilakku in Sabarimala.
- Where Makaravilakku festival is celebrated: in Sabarimala temple
- When is Makarvilakku festival celebrated: 14 January on Makar Sakranti
The Arattu festival held at Srikrishnaswamy Temple in Alappuzha is one of the famous festivals celebrated in the state of Kerala. It is a ten-day festival that begins on the day of Atham and ends on Thiruvonam. An important event on the festival is the Velakali to be performed from the second day to the last day which includes tourists and devotees from different parts of the state.
- Where Arattu Festival is Celebrated: Srikrishnaswamy Temple
- When is Arattu festival celebrated: This festival is celebrated twice a year in March – April and October – November.