Top 10 Fairs & Festivals Of Kerala 2024


Hey there, curious readers! ๐ŸŒŸ Today, let’s dive into the colorful world of festivals in Kerala, a beautiful state in India. Festivals are like big parties where everyone comes together to celebrate, dance, sing, and have lots of fun! In Kerala, people love to celebrate their traditions and culture through these festivals. So, are you ready to join me on this exciting journey to discover the top 10 fairs and festivals in Kerala for the year 2024? Let’s explore together! ๐ŸŽ‰

10.Onam

๐ŸŒŸ Today, let’s talk about one of the most exciting festivals in Kerala called Onam! Onam is like a big, colorful party that everyone in Kerala looks forward to every year. It’s a festival that celebrates happiness, togetherness, and the spirit of unity.

During Onam, people decorate their homes with beautiful flowers, make colorful rangoli designs on the ground, and wear new clothes. The air is filled with the scent of delicious food cooking in every house, and oh, the food! Onam Sadhya, a grand feast served on banana leaves, is one of the highlights of the festival. It’s a yummy meal with lots of different dishes like rice, sambar, avial, and payasam.

One of the most exciting parts of Onam is the Vallamkali, or the snake boat race. Imagine huge, long boats with lots of rowers paddling them as fast as they can! It’s like a thrilling race on the water, and people cheer for their favorite teams with so much excitement.

Onam is also a time for traditional dance and music performances. People dance to lively beats and wear beautiful costumes, making the atmosphere even more joyful and colorful.

9. Attukaal Pongal

๐ŸŒŸ Today, let’s venture into the vibrant world of Attukal Pongal, a festival celebrated with immense devotion and traditional fervor in the beautiful state of Kerala.

Attukal Pongal is a special occasion dedicated to the goddess Attukal Bhagavathy, believed to be a form of the supreme goddess Kannaki. This festival is predominantly observed by the womenfolk, who gather in large numbers at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram to offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the goddess.

The highlight of Attukal Pongal is the ritual of Pongala, where women prepare a special sweet dish known as “Pongala” in earthen pots as an offering to the goddess. The ingredients for Pongala include rice, jaggery, coconut, and ghee, all cooked together to form a delicious concoction. The entire process of cooking the Pongala is done with great reverence and devotion, and it is believed that the goddess bestows her blessings upon those who participate in this ritual with a pure heart.

The streets surrounding the temple become a sea of women, each engaged in the sacred act of cooking Pongala over open fires. The atmosphere is filled with the aroma of the sweet delicacy mingled with the sounds of prayers and chants, creating a deeply spiritual ambiance.

8.Kerala Boat Festivals

๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ Today, let’s set sail into the captivating world of Kerala Boat Festivals, where long, sleek boats glide gracefully through the water, propelled by the synchronized efforts of determined rowers. These festivals are not just about racing; they’re about celebrating Kerala’s rich maritime heritage and the spirit of camaraderie that unites communities along its waterways.

Kerala’s backwaters, rivers, and lakes come alive with excitement during these boat festivals, with spectators lining the shores to cheer on their favorite teams. One of the most renowned boat races is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held annually on the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha. Here, majestic snake boats, with their distinctive curved designs and colorful decorations, compete fiercely for victory, showcasing the skill and athleticism of the rowers.

But the excitement doesn’t end there! Another highlight of Kerala’s boat festivals is the Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race, an event steeped in legend and tradition. Held on the Uthrattathi day in the Malayalam month of Chingam, this race is more than just a competition; it’s a sacred ritual dedicated to Lord Krishna. The snake boats participating in the race are adorned with ceremonial umbrellas and flags, adding to the grandeur of the spectacle.

7.Vishu

๐ŸŒผ Let’s embark on a journey to discover the enchanting festival of Vishu, celebrated with joy and anticipation in the picturesque state of Kerala. Vishu marks the beginning of the Malayalam New Year and is a time of renewal, reflection, and hope for the future.

Imagine waking up to the soft glow of the morning sun filtering through the curtains, heralding the arrival of Vishu. The air is filled with the fragrance of freshly bloomed flowers, and there’s a sense of excitement buzzing in every household. Vishu is all about new beginnings and prosperity, and people eagerly await the dawn of this auspicious day.

One of the most significant traditions of Vishu is the Vishukkani, which means “the first sight of the year.” It is believed that seeing auspicious items as the first thing on Vishu morning brings good luck and blessings for the entire year ahead. Families meticulously arrange these items, including fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, gold coins, and a lit lamp, in front of a sacred idol or image. When the family members wake up, they are led to see the Vishukkani with their eyes closed, and then the eyes are opened to behold the auspicious sight, symbolizing the start of a prosperous year ahead.

Another highlight of Vishu is the giving of Vishukkaineetam, which are gifts of money given to younger members of the family by elders. This tradition symbolizes blessings for abundance and prosperity in the coming year.

Vishu is also a time for feasting and merry-making. Families gather to enjoy a sumptuous meal known as Vishu Sadhya, which typically includes a variety of delicious dishes served on a banana leaf. From crispy vadas to creamy payasam, every bite is a celebration of Kerala’s rich culinary heritage.

In addition to these traditions, Vishu is also marked by cultural performances, fireworks, and colorful processions. The streets come alive with the sound of music and laughter as people come together to celebrate the spirit of unity and joy.

But Vishu is not just a festival; it’s a way of life for the people of Kerala. It teaches us to embrace new beginnings with optimism and gratitude, to cherish our traditions, and to hold onto hope even in the face of challenges.

6.Thrissur Pooram

๐ŸŽ‰ Get ready to be swept away by the electrifying energy of Thrissur Pooram, a festival that ignites the skies and hearts of thousands gathered in the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur. Let’s dive into this grand celebration that blends tradition, spirituality, and sheer magnificence.

Picture this: the beats of the chenda (traditional drum) reverberate through the air, signaling the beginning of Thrissur Pooram. The town comes alive with a riot of colors as intricately decorated elephants adorned with golden caparisons parade through the streets. Each elephant is a sight to behold, towering over the crowd and exuding regal splendor.

Thrissur Pooram is a festival like no other, renowned for its elaborate processions, breathtaking fireworks, and spirited competitions between two rival groups representing the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples. These groups, known as “Poorams,” vie with each other to showcase the most splendidly adorned elephants, captivating musical performances, and dazzling displays of fireworks.

The heart of Thrissur Pooram lies in the spectacular display of 30 caparisoned elephants from each temple, lined up face-to-face in a majestic procession called the “Kudamattom.” The sight of these majestic creatures swaying in unison to the rhythm of the music is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

As day gives way to night, the skies above Thrissur light up in a mesmerizing symphony of fireworks. The explosions of color and light paint a vivid tapestry against the darkness, casting a spellbinding aura over the gathered crowds.

But Thrissur Pooram is not just about grandeur and spectacle; it’s also a deeply spiritual and community-driven event. Families come together to participate in the festivities, offering prayers at the temples and seeking blessings for prosperity and happiness.

The origins of Thrissur Pooram date back over two centuries, when it was initiated by the ruler of Cochin, Sakthan Thampuran, as a unifying festival for the people of Thrissur. Since then, it has evolved into one of the largest and most celebrated festivals in Kerala, drawing visitors from far and wide to witness its splendor.

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5.Theyyam

๐ŸŒŸ Let’s embark on a mystical journey into the fascinating world of Theyyam, a unique and ancient ritualistic art form practiced in the northern districts of Kerala. Are you ready to uncover the secrets of this enchanting dance of gods and spirits? Let’s dive in!

Theyyam is not just a performance; it’s a sacred ritual that blends elements of dance, music, and drama to invoke the presence of deities and ancestral spirits. This vibrant tradition dates back thousands of years and holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Kerala.

Imagine a sprawling open-air arena, illuminated by flickering torches and filled with the mesmerizing rhythms of traditional percussion instruments. As the night falls, the performers, known as Theyyam artists, undergo elaborate transformations, donning elaborate costumes and intricate makeup to embody divine beings.

Each Theyyam performance is dedicated to a specific deity or spirit, known as “Kolam,” and begins with intricate rituals and invocations to summon their presence. The performers, in a trance-like state, channel the energies of these celestial beings, taking on their characteristics and imparting blessings and guidance to the gathered devotees.

Theyyam is not just about entertainment; it’s a deeply spiritual experience that fosters a profound connection between the human and the divine. The rituals performed during Theyyam are believed to cleanse and purify the surroundings, warding off evil spirits and bringing prosperity and well-being to the community.

4.Maha Shivarathri

Maha Shivaratri, which translates to the “Great Night of Shiva,” is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Supreme Being and the destroyer of evil. It is believed to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the divine dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. Devotees observe Maha Shivaratri by fasting, performing rituals, and offering prayers to Lord Shiva, seeking his blessings for spiritual growth and liberation.

As the sun sets on the eve of Maha Shivaratri, temples across Kerala come alive with the chanting of sacred hymns and the sound of bells ringing in devotion. Devotees gather in large numbers to perform Abhishekam, the ceremonial bathing of Shiva Lingam with milk, honey, yogurt, and water, symbolizing purification and rejuvenation.

Throughout the night, devotees engage in rigorous meditation and vigil, staying awake to honor Lord Shiva and seek his divine grace. The darkness of the night symbolizes the ignorance and ego that obscure the inner light of consciousness, and through their prayers and penance, devotees strive to attain spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

3. Makaravilakku Festival

๐Ÿช” Today, let’s illuminate our journey with the radiant glow of the Makaravilakku Festival, a sacred celebration that casts a luminous spell over the misty hills of Sabarimala in Kerala. Join me as we uncover the spiritual significance and mesmerizing rituals of this auspicious festival.

Makaravilakku, also known as Makara Jyothi, is an annual festival celebrated at the revered Sabarimala Temple, nestled amidst the lush forests of the Western Ghats. It marks the culmination of the pilgrimage season to Sabarimala and is observed with deep reverence and devotion by millions of devotees.

The highlight of the Makaravilakku Festival is the divine sighting of the Makara Jyothi, a celestial light that appears atop the Ponnambalamedu hill on the evening of Makara Sankranti, which usually falls in January. Devotees believe that this celestial phenomenon is a manifestation of Lord Ayyappa’s divine presence and an auspicious omen for the coming year.

As the sun sets on the horizon, casting hues of orange and gold across the sky, devotees gather in anticipation at Sabarimala, eagerly awaiting the sacred moment when the Makara Jyothi will appear. The atmosphere is charged with excitement and devotion as chants of “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” fill the air, echoing the unwavering faith of the pilgrims.

At the appointed hour, as if guided by a celestial hand, the Makara Jyothi emerges in all its splendor, a radiant beacon of light illuminating the darkness of the night. Devotees bow their heads in reverence, their hearts filled with gratitude and awe at the sight of this divine spectacle.

The Makaravilakku Festival is not just about witnessing a celestial phenomenon; it is a spiritual journey of self-discovery and inner transformation. Pilgrims undertake arduous treks through dense forests and steep hills, overcoming physical hardships and obstacles in their quest for divine grace.

For many devotees, the journey to Sabarimala is a symbolic pilgrimage of the soul, a sacred quest to attain spiritual enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is a time of introspection, prayer, and contemplation, as devotees seek to purify their minds and hearts and renew their connection with the divine.

2.Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Today, let’s embark on a journey into the heartwarming festivities of Christmas, a beloved holiday celebrated with joy and merriment around the world, including in the beautiful state of Kerala. Join me as we unwrap the magic of this special day and discover its traditions, customs, and the spirit of giving that defines it.

Christmas is a time of celebration, marking the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the Son of God and the savior of humanity. It’s a time for families to come together, for communities to spread love and goodwill, and for hearts to be filled with the warmth of the holiday season.

In Kerala, Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiasm and cheer, with homes adorned with twinkling lights, colorful decorations, and festive ornaments. Churches across the state hold special services and midnight masses, where believers gather to offer prayers, sing hymns, and reflect on the significance of the Nativity.

One of the most cherished traditions of Christmas is the Nativity scene, depicting the birth of Jesus in a humble manger surrounded by Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Three Wise Men. Families set up Nativity scenes in their homes and churches, beautifully crafted with figurines and decorations, to reenact the timeless story of hope and redemption.

Another highlight of Christmas is the exchange of gifts, symbolizing the spirit of generosity and giving. Families and friends exchange presents, expressing love and appreciation for one another, while children eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus, who is believed to bring gifts to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve.

But Christmas in Kerala is not just about the festivities; it’s also a time for feasting and indulgence. Traditional Kerala cuisine takes center stage, with mouthwatering delicacies like appam, stew, duck roast, and Christmas cake gracing the dining tables. It’s a time to savor the flavors of home-cooked meals and to share delicious treats with loved ones.

1. Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race

๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ Today, let’s embark on an exhilarating voyage into the heart of Kerala’s cultural heritage as we explore the mesmerizing Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race. Join me as we navigate through the glistening waters and vibrant festivities of this ancient tradition that has been captivating spectators for generations.

The Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race is not just a competition; it’s a celebration of Kerala’s rich maritime history and the spirit of unity and camaraderie that defines its communities. Held annually on the day of Uthrattathi asterism in the Malayalam month of Chingam, this spectacular event draws thousands of spectators from near and far to witness the thrilling spectacle unfold.

The star of the show is the majestic snake boat, known as the “Palliyodam,” which is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans using traditional methods passed down through generations. These magnificent boats, adorned with ornate decorations and fluttering flags, glide gracefully across the water, propelled by the synchronized rowing of the strong and agile oarsmen.

But the Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race is not just about the race itself; it’s a festival of colors, music, and cultural performances that fill the air with excitement and energy. Spectators line the banks of the river, cheering on their favorite teams and immersing themselves in the festive atmosphere.

One of the most unique aspects of the Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race is its deep-rooted religious significance. The race is held as part of the annual festival at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna. Legend has it that the boat race is a reenactment of a divine event where Lord Krishna himself is said to have appeared to rescue the villagers from a flood.

As the boats race towards the finish line, the air is filled with the thunderous beat of drums and the exhilarating chants of the spectators. It’s a moment of intense excitement and anticipation as the teams vie for victory, showcasing their skill, strength, and teamwork in a display of pure athleticism and determination.

But beyond the thrill of the race, the Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race is a testament to Kerala’s enduring cultural heritage and the timeless traditions that bind its communities together. It’s a celebration of resilience, unity, and the indomitable spirit of the people who call this land home.

So, as we bid farewell to the splendor of the Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race, let’s carry with us the memories of this unforgettable experience and the spirit of camaraderie and celebration that defines Kerala’s vibrant cultural landscape.