This article refers to the multicolored culture and the festivals celebrated in God’s own country, Kerala. Kerala is the home for a variety of festivals that are celebrated all through the year.
Kerala is home to a variety of festivals. In Kerala the dance forms mesmerize you, the music will take you to the world of muses and festivals and celebrations continue throughout the year. The canvas of God’s Own country is painted with hues and shades of paradise as the people celebrate festivals.
Kerala is a secular state with culture and religion interlaced together. Many religions have reached Kerala from times immemorial making an evergreen mark on the culture of the state. All the foreign religions were welcomed warmly by the people of Kerala. Buddhism and Jainism were the earliest religions to come to Kerala. Christianity came to Kerala through St. Thomas, the doubting Thomas, even before it reached Rome. Muslims were the other sect of people who came here with the advent of Arabs in the seventh century. The Jews fleeing the diaspora also found their refuge in Kerala. All these made Kerala into a melting pot of a variety of cultures that were absorbed and integrated into the heritage of the state resulting in a harmonious existence.
Secularism is one of the unique features of Kerala where each religion reveres other’s practice. The population of Kerala consists of Hindus, Christians and Muslims, each having their exclusive role to play in the society. The multi racism of Kerala resulted in the blend of tradition, festivities, culture, art and literature.
Temples of Kerala are not just a place of worship, they are the platform for artistic expressions. The Chakyar Koothu is a monoact evolved in temples based on the Sanskrit plays. Krishnanattam, Ramanattam and Kathakali are the art forms that were presented in the places of worship.
One of the notable features of the festivals of Kerala is that every community and religion takes part in each other’s festivities promoting the sense of secularism. Celebrations are kept sweet and simple and age old traditions are followed even in the modern times.
It is the national harvest festival of Kerala celebrating the return of King Mahabali. It is celebrated by people of every religion and community. The festivities continue for about ten days in the months of August/September. All houses are decorated with floral beds.
Snake Boat Races
Snake boat race is considered to be the biggest water sports adventure in the world. With 110-120 men competing in a single snake boat, it is the world’s biggest team event.
In Malayalam the word ‘Pooram’ refers to temple festival. It is characterized by the procession of a number of elephants with music. It usually occurs in Central Kerala between the months of October and April. Thrissur Pooram, Uthralikkavu Pooram, Arattupuzha Pooram are some of the famous poorams.
It is a part of the agricultural festival that usually comes after the harvest. Bulls are raced across the paddy fields.
It is a festival that is exclusively for the women folk of Kerala culminating with the traditional dance form of Thiruvathira kali. Women observe fast during this festival.
India is a land of festivals and Deepavali is the most significant among those festivals. Deepavali 2016 falls on Sunday, October 30 and it will be an official public holiday in many areas of the country. People from across the country celebrate this festival with lights, firework displays and triumph. This festival celebrates in the autumn season not only by Hindus but Sikhs and Jains also. The importance of Deepavali is that it is a festival of lights over darkness.
A Hindu Festival Of Lights
Deepavali is the most colourful festival in India and people from across the country celebrate this 5-day festival. The Hindu houses are decorated with beautiful candles and colourful lights in order to celebrate this festival. People celebrate it as a triumph of good over evil. Deepavali, also known as Diwali in some languages of the country associates with different tales. In fact, different regions of the country have different tales related to this festival. However, the lights show the victory over dark or good over evil.
Intensive Preparations For The Festival
Deepavali celebrates not only in India but also in several countries with large Hindu populations like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore and Fiji. Homes decorate beautifully to celebrate this festival. Each Hindu home scrub carefully, renovates it and then decorates attractively in order to celebrate Deepavali. Women in each family dress beautifully and paint their hands with henna patterns during this festival. They also prepare traditional sweets for the family members and guests. You can also see colourful rangoli of lotus flowers draw in front of the Hindu houses using rice flour.
Celebrate Deepavali Night With Full Enthusiasm
Never forget to celebrate Deepavali 2016 with high enthusiasm. Hindu families do Lakshmi Puja on the night of Deepavali and use small painted earthenware lanterns to light diyas. Fill half-portion of these clay lamps with oil and light them and place them in front of your house. All the members of the family wear best clothes during the night of Deepavali. People light a lot of lights in front of their house in order to attract Goddess Lakshmi to their homes. It is also a time when family and friends exchange gifts and eat a lot of sweets. It is interesting to know that during the day of Deepavali, even the soldiers of the tense India-Pakistan border share sweets to celebrate the festival.
An Auspicious Time To Make Money
You will not find any better time to make and invest money than Deepavali 2016. It is the beginning of a positive time and people welcome it beautifully. Whatever may be the tales and legends behind Deepavali, people celebrate it with high enthusiasm.
Essential Guide to Onam 2016 Festival in Kerala. Onam 2016 celebrates on September 13, 2016
When and How to Celebrate Onam, the harvest Festival in Kerala?
Onam is the most popular harvest festival in Kerala. It is a 10 day festival celebrated for the loving memory of the mythical King Mahabali. This festival is rich in heritage and culture. Most of the Malayalees who live outside the state find time to visit their home during this time in order to celebrate this festival.
When to celebrate Onam?
Onam 2016 celebrate in the month of Chingam, the first month as per the Malayalam calendar. Even though it is a 10-day celebration, the main festival comes on Thiruonam. The rituals start 10 days before the main Onam on the day of Atham. Onam will celebrate this year on September 14.
The main festival Thiruvonam celebrates in a big way. In fact, the preparations for Thiruvonam even start from the previous day, Uttradam. It is the first day of Onam and this year it will be on September 13. The 3rd and 4th Onam will fall on September 15 & 16 respectively. In fact, the festivities continue all these days.
Where to celebrate Onam ?
Onam is the main festival of Kerala, the South Indian state. The celebrations of this festival are outstanding for their splendor especially in the areas like Trivandrum, Kochi, Thrissur and Kottayam.
The Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple, also known as the Thrikkakara temple mainly associates with this festival. It is near Kochi almost 15 kilometers away of Ernakulam. Dedicated to Lord Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple is also an abode of King Mahabali. The reign of this generous king was considered as the Golden period of the state. However, the gods grew disturbed about the popularity and power of him. So, Lord Vishnu took its 5th incarnation and said to have sent him with his foot to the underworld. In fact, Thrikkakara temple locates at the place where this occurred.
Before going to the underworld, King Mahabali asked a favor from Lord Vamana. He asked to visit Kerala once a year in order to see his people and ensure that they were still content, well fed and happy. The lord granted his wish and it is believed that the king visit ever year during Onam to see the people in the land.
The government of Kerala also celebrates Tourism Week during this festival. This is the right time to watch the rich culture and heritage of the state.
How to celebrate Onam 2016?
People engage in many fun-filled activities during Onam. They put different flower patterns in front of their houses in order to welcome the King. Women wear traditional attires and perform Thiruvathira dance around traditional brass lamp. Elaborate feasts serve on banana leaves on the day of Thiruvonam. Beautiful dances, folk songs, energetic games and boat races are also a part of this festival.
What Rituals perform during Onam?
Onam is such a harvest festival that celebrates with striking magnificence. People follow several rituals during this festival. Of all these ten days of festival, the first day, Atham and the last day, Thiruvonam are more important. People begin their day with an early bath on the first day of Atham. After prayers, they create beautiful floral patterns in front of their houses. In fact, a portion of the ground cleaned and then smeared the area with cow-dung before making those patterns. They put such amazing floral decorations all the 10 days up to Thiruvonam. Many organizations coordinate competitions for such floral decorations.
Onam celebrations start on Atham at Thrikkakara Temple also with a special flag ceremony. There are music, dance and cultural performances all these 10 days. There is a grand procession, Pakalpooram, on the day before Thiruvonam. It is certainly a highlight of this festival in Kerala. The Vamana, the main deity of the temple carried on an elephant around the temple. A group of caparisoned elephants follow the procession.
Each day of celebration has its own traditional importance. Temple authorities perform different rites during these days involving the main and other deities at the temple. The main deity, Vamana decorate in the form of one of his 10 incarnations on each day of this 10 days festival.
Even if many cooking takes place during the festival of Onam, the grand Onam Sadya is the highlight of it. It served on a banana leaf on the Thiruvonam day. Elaborate and assorted cuisines are the attraction of this feast. You can visit the Thrikkakara Temple if you wish to enjoy an Ona Sadya. In fact, thousands of people visit the temple on this day to enjoy the feast. Many quality hotels in Trivandurum and Kochi also serve it with special dishes.
Friday, August 28 – Onam 2015
Make your trip to Kerala outstanding this month by enjoying Onam 2015, the harvest festival of the state!
You will not find any better time to visit Kerala than Onam as it is the time for numerous ritual celebrations and festivities. People who visit this state during Onam can enjoy plenty of sports and colorful water festivals.
Everybody knows that Onam is the biggest harvest festival in Kerala which starts with a wide range of exciting activities. Dedicated to the Asura King Mahabali, the main Thiruonam this year falls on August 28. Both old and young equally participate in the festivities associated with this state festival. Celebrations should be everywhere throughout the state. Temples and cultural centers organize different dance and traditional art forms during this time. If you plan a trip to Kerala, this is the perfect time to enjoy the essence and rich culture of the state.
Some of the most beautiful attractions that you will be able to enjoy during Onam festival include:
Thripunithura Athachamayam kicks off the 10-day celebrations of Onam festival. This colorful beginning features an eye catching street parade followed by musicians, different forms of traditional Kerala arts and beautifully decorated elephants. This is one of the most beautiful attractions of Kochi which takes place on August 19.
ONAM CELEBRATIONS AT THRIKKAKARA TEMPLE
This is one of the right places to enjoy the 10 day celebrations of Onam including musical, dance and cultural performances. Pakalpooram, the grand procession on the main Thiruonam day is the highlight of Thrikkakara Temple. The temple is located off Thrissur-Ernakulam highway almost 15 kilometers northeast of Kochi/Cochin.
WEEK LONG ONAM CELEBRATIONS IN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Kerala Tourism organizes a week-long Onam celebration in Thiruvananthapuram, which is the capital of the state. You can enjoy all the festivities related to Onam here including stage shows, handicraft exhibitions, folk art and food stalls. The colorful parade with decorated elephants and floats on the last day is most vibrant of these week long celebrations. You will be able to enjoy it from August 25 to 31st 2015 in and around Thiruvananthapuram.
ENJOY UNIQUE ONAM SADYA
Onam celebrations will not be completed without a grand Sadya. With a lot of special dishes, it serves on a banana leaf. You can enjoy this special glorious cuisine only on the Thiruonam day which is on August 28, 2015. Each and every restaurant in the cities of Kerala serves delicious Onam Sadya on Thiruonam day.
ARANMULA SNAKE BOAT RACE
Never forget to enjoy the Aranmula Snake Boat Race during Onam which occurs on the banks of the sacred Pampa River. Approximately 50 boats participate in this renowned boat race which starts in the afternoon on August 31, 2015. This traditional boat race is one of the main attractions of Onam celebrations. The nearest railway station to reach Aranmula is Chengannur.