Festivals of Kerala
Onam is a harvest festival which falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam which could be in August or September in the Gregorian calendar. It is a ten-day-long festival celebrated by all categories of people irrespective of caste or creed. There is mythology related to this festival it is believed that the demon king Mahabali who once ruled Kerala comes to visit his subjects every year on this auspicious moment. Onam is celebrated in remembrance of the happiness and prosperity during his reign
There are a number of customs associated with this festival. During Onam, the courtyard of every house is ordered with a floral carpet. People wear traditional attire on this day. Onam celebration includes Pulikali, Thiruvathirakali, Vallamkali, Onavillu, Kummattikali and so on.
The most attraction of this festival is Onasadhya, a traditional 5-course meal which is served on banana leaves. There would be a number of vegetarian side dishes ranging from the hot and spicy pickles to the crunchy papads. Moreover, also have a variety of payasams, the traditional dessert.
2. Theyyam Festival
Theyyam festival is a traditional form of worship in Kerala which is celebrating in various places of the state including Kasargod, Kannur and Wayanad Districts. It is held from October to May every year. It is a fusion of ritual, vocal and instrumental music, dance, painting, literature and sculpture. It is presented to respect the idol and ancestral spirits.
The theyyam is performed in front of Sanctum. There are almost 400 types of theyyam. Each theyyam is entirely different from others and each theyyam has its own style, music, make-up, costumes and so on. Pottan, Kari chamundi, Gulikan, Raktha Chamundi, Bhagavat and Mutiappan are some of the famous forms of Theyyam.
3. Makaravilakku Festival
Makaravilakku festival is a yearly festival which is held on Makar Sankranti at the sanctum of Sabarimala. The gala includes more than half a million worshiper where they come to Sabarimala in each year to have a darshan of Ayyappan. The devotee faithful carry the thiruvabharanam to the hill shrine of Sabarimala. The lamp lighted during the time of Arati. The deeparadhana in the temple is known as Makara Vilakku.
4. Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur pooram is one of the prominent Hindu temple festivals in Kerala which is the largest of all poorams. The Thrissur Pooram is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Medom which could be in April or May. This gala is celebrated at the Vadakkunathan temple in Thrissur. Moreover, the festivals last for almost 36 hours with traditional puja and ending with extreme fireworks.
This festival was the brainchild of Shakthan Thampura, the Maharaja of Kochi who conducted the gala with the involvement association of 10 temples. There are 10 participants in Pooram. The major attraction of the festival is Panchavadhyam melam involving Thimila, Madhalam, Trumpet, Cymbal and Edakka. The main highlight of this festival is fireworks which are very popular in all over the country and it is held in Thekkinkadu Maidan.
Vishu is one of the most significant festivals in Kerala which falls in the Malayalam month of Medam and it is in the middle of April in the Gregorian calendar. It indicated the beginning of the spring season. Vishu is a harvest festival and astrological it is the new year of Malayalis. The day begins by viewing Vishu Kani which contains things like rice, lemon, cucumber, jack fruit, coconut, betel leaves, kajal, areca nut metal mirror, golden shower, coins, an oil lamp and the image of the Hindu deity Vishnu.
The major attraction of this festival is Vishu Sadhya. Vishu Katta, Vishu kanji, and Thoran are the special dishes in Vishu Sadhya. The other specialities are wearing new attire which is known as Vishukodi and during the festival, the children burst firecrackers.
6. Maha Shivaratri
Maha Shivaratri is a famous Hindu festival which is celebrated yearly in the worship of deity Shiva and especially it is considered as the day of the marriage of Shiva. In every lunisolar month of the Hindu calendar, the Shivaratri festival is celebrated which comes on the month of Phalguna. The Maha Shivaratri is also known as the “Great Night of Shiva”. This is a grand festival which is considering as a recollection if defeating darkness and ignorance in life and the world. The festival is celebrated over three or ten days depending on the Hindu lunisolar calendar.