Besides being blessed by awesome natural beauty and tranquility Kerala is also renowned for its vibrant and colorful fair and festivals. The people of Kerala are intricately woven in their rich cultural heritage which is celebrated in the form of various fairs and festivals. Each festival be it the temple festival or Church festival has a special significance for its community. These festivals are celebrated with the same fervor and enthusiasm by the people of all walks of life irrespective of their caste and religion. These festivals bring people and families close together into a common fabric. They also help in the great way to keep alive the age old traditions and values. The festivals of Kerala involve great amount of celebrations that encompasses melodious music, colorful attires, classical dance performances, several interesting rituals, awe inspiring decorations, huge possessions, feasts and fireworks. Participating in these joyful festivals is a retreat for the locals as well as for the visitors. Some of the famous festivals of Kerala include
Onam:- Onam is one of the most celebrated festival of Kerala which is celebrated in the honor return of King Mahabali an asura king to his own kingdom. It is a 10 day long festival which generally falls in the months of August- September according to the Malyalam Calender. Thiruvonam is the most important day of the festival. On this day people wear new dresses, visit temples, offer prayers band decorate their houses with flowers and rangolis to welcome the king. On the occasion of Thiruvonam a grand feast Onasadhya is organized in every home. Snake boat race is the major attraction of this grand festival.
Thrissur Pooram:-This festival is celebrated at the premises of famous Vadakkunnathan Temple situated in the center of Thekinkadu Maidan at Thrissur in the month of mid may-mid April according to the Malyalam Calendar. This Pooram festival is the greatest of all the Pooram festivals. Major highlights of this festival include firework shows, drun conerts, parasol displays, processions of 30 well decorated elephants along with the percussion ensemble from various temples of Kerala that finally finishes at Vadakkunnathan Temple.
Vishu Festival:- Vishu festival is celebrated on the first day of the first month according to the Malyalam calendar which falls in the month of April. The main event of Vishu festival is Kani –Kanal which literally means the first sight. The people of Kerala star the first day of the year by waking up in front of Kaniwhich is a big pot stuffed with gold ornaments, white cloth, a measure of rice or paddy, flowers of Konna trees along with half jackfruit and coconut. Early morning on the day of the festival the master of the house first the Kani followed by the other members of the family. Another attraction of the festival is Kaayi Neetal where elder people of the family gift Nehru Trophy Boat Race:- It is one of the major tourist attractions of Kerala packed with fun and frolic. It is among the most eagerly awaited festivals of Kerala which is organized on the second Saturday of the month of August. The festival features gigantic snake boats which are popularly known as Chundans. A competition is held between them sponsored by different villages. Each boat moves with the help of more than 100 rowers and people cheer for their victory. The winning team got the Nehru Trophy.
Christmas:- It is one of the most celebrated festivals of Kerala held on 25th December. The preparations of Christmas begin well in advance and on this day a holy mass is held in all churches of Kerala. People sing Christmas carols setting the Christmas tree exchange the gifts and enjoy the feast which is the integral part of this merrymaking festival.