Festivals

Onam




     
   The festival of Onam is celebrated throughout the State. Kerala during Onam is a cauldron of happiness, excitement and enjoyment. Nature in full bloom, festivity in the air, happy people and lots of fun! This is the time of the Onam festival, the festival that Keralites call their own.
The celebrations for Onam are on for 10 days, beginning with the Atham day of the Malayalam month of Chingam, which falls in August / September. This is a period when Kerala comes alive with elephant processions, classical and folk dance performances, music recitals, cultural pageants, boat races and much more!



 Puli Kali


     Tigers, when they are in a jolly good mood, dance! Unheard and unseen in a forest. But it happens in broad daylight on the streets of the Swaraj Round in the town of Thrissur. With the arrival of Onam, Kerala gets busy with many traditional events to celebrate the occasion of Onam; the biggest of all festivals in Kerala. And one such event that continues to cheer and entertain the onlookers is the exciting Puli Kali or the dance of the tigers.

Even though Puli Kali is performed during Onam in many parts of Kerala, it is the one in Thrissur that is famous for its huge turn out of performers and the people who come to witness it. For the performance, the menfolk would have their bodies and faces meticulously painted to resemble tigers. They move in groups and would dance to the tune of percussions and enact scenes of playing hide and seek with a hunter wielding a gun. Besides the typical black and yellow colours of a typical tiger, performers improvise their tiger make-up colours and finally emerge in a riot of colours to entertain the crowd. 



Chettikulangara Bharani
 
  
   The annual festival held in the Malyalam month of Kumbham is one of the most well-known festivals of Kerala. The festival and the temple are dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy. Almost all the folk arts of South Kerala are presented at the temple. The all-night Kathakali performances are a must-see for Kathakali buffs.

Some other spectacular features include a Kettukazhcha procession, Kuthiyottam, Padayani, Kolkali and Ammankudam. The Kettukazhcha, a ceremonious procession that draws large crowds of devotees includes brightly decorated structures, the tall and bigger ones assumed as horses and smaller one as chariots, cultural performances forming part of the spectacular pageant. 


 Attuvela Mahotsavam


   The Attuvela Mahotsavam is a water carnival. According to legend, it is the welcome ceremony for the Goddess of Kodungalloor who comes to visit her sister, the Goddess of Elamkavu. The Goddess Bhagavathy is the presiding deity in this small temple. During the two-day Attuvela, beautifully illuminated canoes, carrying a huge replica of the temple, sail down the waters accompanied by hordes of colourfully decorated small canoes and temple percussion music. The procession of canoes starts from Attuvela kadavu, 2 km away from the temple.


Parippally Gajamela



    This festival is dedicated to Bhadrakali - the Goddess in her most fierce form. There is a procession of abou50 elephants - the Gajamela - and various cultural programmes on the concluding days

 Thrissur pooram

 
     The world-renowned Thrissur pooram, arguably the most famous festival of Kerala, is a heady mixture of pomp and pageantry. Thousands of people from all walks of life gather at the Thekkinkadu Maidanam at Thrissur to celebrate the pooram or festival. The festival is held in the premises of the Vadakkumnatha temple, a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. The festival highlights include, among other things, a spectacular pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants and Kudamattom, a competition in the swift rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequined parasols. Chendamelam and Panchavadyam performances by magicians of music provide a supremely apt accompaniment to the visual treats. Dazzling fireworks light up the sky to provide a grand finale to two days of classic entertainment.


Kalpathi Ratholsavam


     The annual Ratholsavam or chariot festival at the Sree Viswanatha Swamy temple, dedicated to Lord Viswanatha or Siva, is one of the most remarkable of the festivals of Kerala. Kalpathi, an early Tamil Brahmin settlement is also known as Dakshin Kasi or the Varanasi of the South. During the first four days, Vedic recitals and cultural programmes are held in the temple, believed to be over 700 years old. On the last three days, thousands of devotees gather together to draw decorated temple chariots through the streets. This ceremonial procession taken out by a sea of chanting people is a sight to behold.