Onam! The national festival of Kerala celebrated for the coming of the King Mahabali. This festival falls in August-September and has a wonderful story attached to it. Onam is a very important festival to the people of Kerala and has been celebrated in a grand manner every year.
Onam 2023: Onam 2023 will begin on Sunday, 20 August and ends on Thursday, 31 August
There is not much to be said about Vishu but it is the Second most important festival of Kerala as it marks the New year which normally falls on the 14th, 15th, or 16th of April. This day determines how the rest of the year is going to be for the malayalis.
Vishu 2023: Saturday, 15 April
This festival is one of the most famous Temple festivals of Kerala. It is celebrated in Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur. People sit on huge elephants that are fully dressed for the occasion outside the temple. Thrissur Pooram is a famous festival of Kerala for its very long and beautiful fireworks that are lit all night.
Thrissur Pooram 2023: 1 May 2023
This festival is mostly celebrated in the month of either December or January. This festival is in total dedication to Lord Shiva and it is believed that this day is perfect and very auspicious to worship Lord Shiva. All the devotees of Lord Shiva make their way to the temple for the Lord’s blessing.
Thiruvathira 2023: December - January
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Remember those painted, masked faces you saw when you were little, dancing to beautiful rhythms? Well, Theyyam is just that. This festival is almost 800 years old and has people coming from all over India to perform their dances while dressed up as Deities.
Theyyam Festival 2023: March 19-24
This is celebrated on the ninth day of the ten long days of the actual festival in the month of February- March, only women are allowed to participate in this festival. The sweet dish called ‘Pongala’ is prepared by the women in the morning and is ready by noon for the offering. This dish is made from boiled rice, jaggery, and coconut.
Attukal Pongala 2023: March 7
Like in any other place, Christianity has also taken its toll in Kerala with the number of Christians increasing day by day. Due to this reason, Christmas is a very big festival in Kerala, thanks to all the Christian communities. Well, we don’t think we have to explain the reason Christmas is celebrated right? Everyone knows the story of the birth of Baby Jesus.
Christmas 2023: 25 December
Makaravilakku is an annual festival that is celebrated in Sabrimala temple on the occasion of Makar Sakranti on 14th January each year. A procession of people, dressed up in sacred attire, carry ornaments of Ayappan that are called Thiruvabharanam. The journey advents two days prior to Makara Jyothi Day from Pandalam.
Makaravilakku Festival 2023: January 15
The Arattu (holy bath) of Lord Padmanabhan is held in Padmanabaswamy temple during the Painkuni Festival. It is one of the important rituals held as part of the festival, and the uniqueness of this festival is that the head of the Travancore royal family still escorts the idols in his traditional attire during the procession to the Shanghumugham beach.
Arattu at Trivandrum 2023: TBA
Held at the Sree Krishnaswamy Temple at Alapuzha, the Ambalapuzha Arattu festival is celebrated enshrining Ambalapuzha Unnikannan. It is a ten-day festival where the Arattu is conducted on the final day called as the Thiruvonam Nakshatram.
Ambalapuzha Arattu 2023: TBA
The Aranmula boat race is a century old boat race that’s celebrated on the occasion of Aranmula Uthrattathi. The snake boats move in pairs with an excited crowd cheering on the banks of the river Pampa.
Aranmula Uthrattathi 2023: TBA
It is all in the name. Gaja in Sanskrit means elephant and mela is fair. Kerala is a place that revers elephants, hence any of the temple festivals you visit, you’re sure to witness elephants. Adoor Gajamela is a ten-day-long festival held in the Parthasarathy Temple that’s dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Adoor Gajamela 2023: to be announced