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FAIR AND FESTIVAL

January

Thrichenganoor Mahadeva Temple

This Mahotsavam (grand festival) is at Thrichenganoor Mahadeva Temple, Chenganoor, 35 kilometers from Kottayam. This is the only temple in Kerala, which conducts a twenty eight-day annual festival. The last ten days are the most important. Festival highlights: Spectacular procession in the mornings and evenings, all night Kathakali for two nights, Arattu, Thiruvathirakali, Chakyarkoothu, Ottanthullal, Kavadiyattam, Mayilattam, Karakkattam, Ammankudam. Deities of the temple: Lord Siva & Sree Parvathi.

Thaipooya Mahptsavam

At Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple, Harippad Festival highlights: Thaipooya-kavadiyattom, Chuttuvilakku. Deity of the temple: Sree Subrahmanya

Danaha Perunal

The annual two-day (first week of January) Danaha Perunal at St. Mary's Church (Valiyapalli) Piravom, 35 kilometers from Ernakulam. Festival highlights: Spectacular processions carrying gold and silver crosses and colorful parasols, Panchavadyam, Nadaswaram, musical bands fireworks display. Patron of the church: St. Mary.

Gramam
The Kerala village fair at Eve's beach, Kovalam, 16 kilometers from Trivandrum. An entire Kerala village is recreated by the beach during this 10-day long festival.

February

Nishagandhi Dance Festival
The classical dances are presented at Trivandrum in February every year. It is a splendid opportunity to watch south Indian classical dances, Mohiniyattam , Kathakali (Kerala) Bharathanatyam (Tamil Nadu) Kuchipudi (Andhra) and Odissi (Orissa), Manipuri (Manipur) and Kathak (North Indian).

Attukal Pongala Utsavam
Only women are allowed at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Trivandrum during the pongala. Festival highlights include preparation of pongala by thousands of women devotees in the temple courtyard. The chief priest to the temple goes around carrying the sword of the Goddess, blesses the devotees, sprinkles holy water and flower petals on them, procession of the deity's idol, Thalapoli, Kuthiyottam, Caprisoned elephants, Chendamelam, Nadaswaram, Kumbhamkudam, Classical music recitals, Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali. Deity of the temple: Goddess Bahagavathy.

Malabar Mahotsavam

A cultural Extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of India held in every year in Calicut. Festival highlights: Classical dances, music concerts, ritual art performances, food festival featuring the local delicacies and fire works display.

March

Sivaratri
Aluva Sivaratri at Siva temple, on the banks of Periyar at Aluva.

Kalavayal (Cattle Fair)
Kakkoor kalavayal, 40 kilometers from Cochin, Ernakulam District. It is a post harvest festival.

 

April

Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple
There is a ten-day annual UTSAVAM (festival) at Sree Padmanabha swami Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. Festival highlights: Pallivetta, Arattu, ceremonial processions, Kathakali performances. Deity of the temple: Lord Vishnu reclining on the serpent Anantha.

Mamangam

10-day annual Mamangam at Thirunavaya Navamukunda temple in Malappuram district, near Calicut

May

Trissur Pooram
11th May: Pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants assembled in the precincts of the Vadkkumnathan Temple. Attractions: Kudamattom, Chendamelam, Panchavadyam, spectacular firework display.

June

Ochirakali
16-17: Annual OCHIRAKALI at Parabrahma Temple, Ochira, Kollam. The temple has no shrine or presiding deity. It is consecrated to the cosmic consciousness. Ochirakali commemorates the war between the rulers of Kayamkulam and Ambalapuzha principalities on the Ochira Pandanilam (battlefield). Festival highlights: Martial performances, cattle and agricultural trade fair.

August -September

Athachamayam
Athachamayam events to mark the beginning of the Onam festival on the Atham day of the Malayalam month Chingom at Thrippunithura, Kochi. Festival highlights: Spectacular procession of caparisoned elephants, colorful floats, musical ensembles, Theyyam, Panchavadyam, Chendamelam, Pambamelam, Karakattam, Mylattam, Ammankudam, Attakavadi, Pulikali, Kaduvakali, Parichamuttukali, Kolkali.

Onam

Onam is the principal festival of Kerala that is celebrated all over the state in the month of August. This is celebrated annually welcoming the visit of the legendary king of Kerala, the Mahabali. The tale is so told that, eons before a great king named Mahabali was ruling Kerala. Gods became worried of the so prosperous reign of the king and feared if Mahabali's reign would overdo heaven in terms of prosperity and order and tried to rout the king, from earth. Lord Mahavishnu according to the intrigue descended to earth and went to the King Mahabali in the form of a Brahmin sage in the name of Vamana seeking three yards of space to sit and meditate.

The king agreed but suddenly the sage vamana grew into such an enormous figure that his two feet covered earth and hell (Pathalam). Then seeking the third yard approached the king Mahabali. So benevolent a king that he was,

offered the space for the third step on his head by kneeling and stooping before him. Vamana then accepted and took it as the opportunity to push him down to hell. The king could realize his plight and asked a boon to visit his land and his subjects every year. That bon was granted and from thence the people of Kerala celebrate Onam as the occasion of the arrival of their grand old king - The Mahabali.

The main celebrations are of ten days, beginning from the day of Attham, and ending on the day of Thiruvonam. People make this as the opportunity for festivities that include decorations, shopping and grand feasts. The tenth day is the most important of Onam Festival.

October

Soorya Dance Festival
This classical dance festival is conducted for the ten days every year in Trivandrum. Renowned dancers from all over India participate in this festival. Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Bharathanatyam, Kathakali & Mohiniyattam are performed at this festival. It starts from 1st and concludes on the 10th of October every year.

Kothamangalam Marthoman Church
On October 2nd and 3rd. This festival is in remembrance of St. Baselios. This is a more than 300 year old festival. 45 Kilometers from Cochin.

November

Mannarasala Aayilyam
11th: Mannarasala Aayilyam at Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple (32 kilometers from Alappuzha) on the Alappuzha-Kollam route. Festival highlights: Colorful serpent worship rituals Ezhunnallathu Uruli kamazhthal, a unique ritual offering made by placing an Uruli (a bell metal based vessel) upside down before the deity. This offering is usually made by couples who seek the boon of a child. Deity of the temple: Nagaraja-king of serpents.

Parumala Perunal
Nov 1st and 2nd: Annual Parumala Perunal at Parumala church, Mannar,11 kilometers from Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta District. This festival is in Memory of St: Gregorious

St. Mary's Forane Church, Bharananganam
The Feast of Mr. Carmel on 9th November at St. Mary's Forane Church, Bharananganam, 40 kilometers from Kottayam. Festival highlights: Special devotional rites, Ceremonial processions, Chendamelam and fireworks.

Sree Krishna Temple
18th -25th: Annual eight-day UTSAVAM at Sree Krishna Temple, Thiruvambadi, 2 kilometers from Alappuzha town. Festival highlights: Kodiyettam, Grand elephant procession and Chendamelam. Deity of the temple: Sree Krishna

December

Sabarimala
2-11: Annual Mandala Puja at Sree Dharmasastha Temple, Sabarimala. 210 kilometers from Cochin.


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