Elankara temple Vadayar Vaikom is celibrated Aattuvela
The Goddess Bhagavathy is the presiding deity in this
temple. During the two-day Attuvela, beautifully illuminated
canoes, carrying a huge replica of the temple, glide down
the waters accompanied by hordes of colourfully decorated
small canoes and temple percussion music.
The Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom is one of the most famous
and oldest Siva temples in Kerala. The utsava in this
temple is celebrated for twelve days during the dark lunar
fortnight of Vrischikam, (November-December) and the Ashtami
falling on the last day.
The 16-day festival held at Nilamperoor Bhagavathikkavu
at Kuttanad in Alapuzha on Thiruvonam day in Chingam (August-September)
and ends on Pooram day, the main day in the festival.
Kolamkettu (making of effigies) and Kollamthullal (a ritual
dance performed by carrying the effigies) are the main
attractions of the festival. In Ezhunnellippu, a procession
carrying the Kolams (deities)-another event of the festival-
idols along with effigies of swans are being carried to
the festival ground amid vociferous clamour and outcries
from the throng. The chief kolams displayed are of Shiva,
Bhima and Ravana.
In the Vallanghi village of Chittur Taluk , there is a
beautiful temple dedicated to goddess Bhagavathi . The
keity of this temple is called Nellikulangara Bhagavathi
. To invoke the blessings of the Goddess, the people of
Vallanghi and Nemmara conduct a festival of 20th Meenam
(March-April) every year. This is the famous Vallanghi
Kaalapoottu festival at Palakkad, ox race) is an agrarian
,exciting sport held in the Malayalam month of Makaram
Chariot Festival ( Ratholsav)
Kalapathy Chariot Festival isCelebrated in the second
week of every November. During the festival season,
the Vishwanatha temple and the agraharas (traditional
houses) of settler Tamil Brahmins at Kalpathy village
will submerge in a sea of devotees. The religious fervour
will reach its crescendo when the Brahmins carry the
rathams to the temple premise, an age-old ritual that
is gaining popularity with every passing year. Five
major rathams (car, chariot) are being dragged in the
flamboyant procession accompanied by caparisoned elephants
and percussion. The script chanting Vedic scholars maintain
the religious tempo of the festival. Residents of each
agrahara here have their own rathams.
Historians reason that the festival is older than Thirssure
pooram, initiated by Sakthan Thampuran. Myths are woven
around the history of the festival. One among them say,
a Palakkad lady, who had sacrificed material pleasures
for worshipping Lord Shiva, left for Kasi Vishwanatha
She, it is believed, returned years later with an idol
of God Shiva and met the then Palakkad King and requested
him to install the idol at the Vishwanatha temple at
Kalpathy.She also believed to have given gold coins
to the King to meet the expense of daily poojas, and
requested to celebrate the temple festival every year
on the lines of the car festival at Mayuram temples
in Tamil Nadu.
The unique feature of Ochira, one of the famous pilgrim
centres of Kerala, is that there is no deity or idol
at the famous Parabrahma temple dedicated to the Universal
Consciousness. The Oachira Temple is the venue of the
famous Oachirakkali (Oachira dance) held in May/ June,
a sort of ancient choreographed mock battle. Ochira
Kali and the twelve days Panthrandu Vilakku (twelve
lamp festival) in February/May are the two main annual
Ochira Kali -historical
Kali, the annual festival at the Parabrahma temple highlights
the martial skills of the participants. The historical
background of the festival is linked with the erstwhile
rulers of the princely states of Kayamkulam and Ambalappuzha.
The rulers of Kayamkulam and Ambalappuzha are said to
have fought a battle at this place, and the festival
is conducted to commemorate the historical event. On
these days martial displays are presented in the morning,
turning the padanilam (battle field) into an arena of
action-packed artistry. Men irrespective of age engage
in mock duels wielding wooden sticks in their hands
on a vast ground filled with water up to the knee level.
Attukal Ponkala commences on Bharani day in Kumbhom
February-March) and continues for nine days in an ancient
Bhagavathy temple (Mudipura) at Attukal in the Kaladi
ward of the Thiruvananthapuram.
The offering of Ponkala is a very special temple practice
in the southern part of Kerala. 'Ponkala' festival of
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, near thiruvanathapuram, is
On the 9' day of the festival, it would appear as though
all roads in and around Thiruvananthapuram city lead
to the Attukal Temple. The people of all caste, creed
and religion open fields, roads and commercial institutions
emerge as a consecrated ground for observing Ponkala
ritual for the lakhs women devotees belong from different
parts of Kerala and outside. This ceremony is exclusively
confined to women. . The important ritual in the 'Ponkala'
is the preparation of rice or varieties of sweet rice
using hearths and the earthern pots in the open. It
is a wonderful sight to see that the women of all age
groups without caste or creed, rich or poor , surging
into this area well in advance mostly carrying on their
head materials such as firewood, earthern pots, rice,
jaggery, coconut etc. to mark out specific spots for
the preparation of their offerings to the GoddessThe
chief priest of the temple gives the signal for lighting
-the hearth at a prefixed auspicious time followed by
the humming of the temple drums.
The ceremony concludes with the sprinkling of holy water
by temple priests at the appointed time in the evening
accompanied by an aerial showering of flowers to the
honour and glory of the Goddess Almighty. The temple
authorities make all necessary arrangements for the
welfare of this huge congregation with the active participation
of the voluntary agencies, local people, members of
the festival committee and the various government departments.
Bhadrakali born of the third eye of Samhara Rudra, killed
the demon Darika. It is to commemorate this event that
the famous Bharani festival is celebrated in the Kodungalloor
One of the famous temples in India, Guruvayoor is situated
in an out-of-the way village in Chavakkad taluk, though
it draws a vast concourse of pilgrims from every part
of the country. Devotees are thronging to this temple
not to see and appreciate the variety of its structural
patterns or to revel in the festivals celebrated there,
but only to feel the air of benediction that pervades
this famous shrine of Guruvayoorappan and to invoke
The important religious festivals celebrated in this
1. Ashtami Rohini in Chingom (August - September)
2. Sukla Paksha Ekadasi in Vrischikom (November-December)
3. Kuchela Day in Dhanu (December-January) the day on
which Kuchela visited Sree Krishna with beaten rice.
4. Dhwaja Prathishta day (Erection of flag staff in
the temple) on Makayiram Asterism in Makaram (January-
5. Vishukkani in Medam (April)
6. The ten days Utsavam commencing from Pooyam Asterism
in Kumbhom (February-March).
The one-day annual Bharani utsavam at the Chettikulangara
Bhagavathy Temple is a very popular event. Special rituals,
Kuthiyottam performances and Kettukazhcha processions
mark the day.
For many centuries Sabarimala in the south has been
an important pilgrim centre attracting lakhs of devotees.
Sabarimala temple is one of the best-known pilgrimage
destinations in Kerala; atop the rugged hills of the
Sankaracharaya Jayanthy falls on month of May.The fifth
day (panchami) of the waxing moon (shukla paksha) of
Baisakh is the birtday of the great religious philosopher
Shakaracharya. Shankara born as the only son of Nambudri
Brahmin in Kerala, who mastered Brahmopadesa at the
age of five, became a Sanyasi (ascetic) at eight. He
was a disciple of Govinda Bhagavatpada.
Shankara wrote masterly commentaries on the Brahmasutras
of Vyasa, eleven of the classical Upanisads and on the
Bhagvad Gita (Gita Bhasya).
In his short life span of 32 years, he achieved so much
powerfully, purposeful and indeed miraculously that
centuries after his advent his birthday is celebrated
with effective teaching of his doctrine.
Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases
the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart
of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.
Swathi festival is an important event of music organized
by the Government of Kerala, every year, in the last
week of January. The venue is the famous Kuthiramalika
Palace, Thiruvananthapuram, where in the great poet-king
of Travancore, Sri Swathi Thirunal, composed many of
Jagannatha Festival is a colourful eight-day festival,
which is held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February/
March) at the Jagannatha Temple at Madathiparambu, near
Thalassery in Kannur.
Uthrittathi – snake boat carnival
The famous snake boat carnival on the Pampa, held annually
at Aranmula on the day of Uthrittathi asterism, in connection
with the Onam festival. It is to commemorate the crossing
of the river by Lord Krishna on that day. The deity
is supposed to be kept in all the boats that take part
in the carnival.
Mahadeva Temple Mahotsavam
Mahadeva Temple Mahotsavam, Chengamanad, Aluva, Ernakulam
highlights Deepakazhcha, illumination by traditional
lamps fixed on the outer walls of the temple. on the
last two evenings of the festival Ottamthullal, Chakyarkoothu
or Kurathiyattam are performed.
Sivagiri Mutt, Thiruvananthapuram
Sree Narayana Guru was the King of a social revolution
that transformed the caste-ridden society of Kerala.
The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and
the Samadhi day are befittingly celebrated in August
and September respectively every year
TEMPLE FESTIVAL Kannur
This temple was founded in 1916 by Sree Narayana Guru
, Lord Siva is the deity consecrated in the temple which
has since been opened to all irrespective of caste or
creed. Eight -day festivals are conducted in March-
April every year.
The largest Christian Convention in Asia, the Maramon
is held on the sands of River Pampa, at Kozhancheri,
near Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district Kerala. Every
year thousands of Christians attend the convention to
hear the Word of God and seek His grace. Erudite orators
from various countries address the 10-day long convention.
Of the years Maramon has become a meeting place of culture
and Bible studies occupy the major part of the conference
Along with the religious discourse, special prayers
or indisposed are also held.
Parumala Pally Perunal ,Thiruvalla
Parumala Perunal is held at the St. Peters & St.
Paul's Orthodox Church in Parumala, Thiruvalla where
His Holiness Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, the declared
saint of the Malankara Orthodox Church in Kerala takes
his eternal rest
Pally Perunal, Kottayam.
Manarcad Perunal is the annual feast at the St.Mary's
Church at Manarcad, Kottayam. Ettunombu Perunal (literally
the eight day prayer and fasting)at this church is welknown
.This is the feast of Immaculate Conception celebrated
by the Christian community of Kerala from 1st to 8th
Kothamangalam Cheriyapally Perunal
The people of Kothamangalam celebrate the Cheriyapally
festival on October 2 and 3 with piety and festivity.
The colourful ‘Rasa’ (Ceremonial procession)
of the festival days is led by a Nair youth from the
Chakkala family carrying a traditional lamp recalling
how his ancestor escorted Bawa to the Church. The Kanni
20 Perunnal is an auspicious time to pay homage to Bawa.
This brings devotees from near and far for a great religious
and cultural meet. People come to this Church all throughout
the year. Devotees are well taken care of by the Church
Managing committee. Free food and accommodation are
provided to the devotees
The Edathua Church feast at Edathua, a massive shrine
on the banks of the River Pamba, near Thiruvlla, is
dedicated to St. George. During the feast at Edathua
Church, the statue of St. George, decked in gold is
carried out in procession and placed on the dais at
the centre of the Basilica .Devoties from tamil nadu
also attend the festival.
Vallarpadom Pally perunal
The Portuguese missionaries established the historic
Church of Our Lady of Ransom at Vallarpadom Island in
Kochi, in 1524. The Old Church, then known as the Church
of Holy Spirit, is supposed to have been destroyed in
a flood in the late 17th century and a new church was
built on the same spot in 1676
Muthy Orma Perunnal
Orma Perunnal is the commemoration feast held at the
church dedicated to St. Mary's Forana Church in Koratty,
The feast of St. Sebastian is celebrated on a grand
scale for eleven days in a year at St. Andrew's Forance
Church at Arthunkal is known as Arthungal feast. The
church is one of the sacred churches in Kerala, attracts
lakhs of devotees both Christians and non-Christians
every year from allover India. Owing to the unmanageable
crowding of pilgrims and the resultant confusion on
January 20 the final day of the feast, the church authorities
have instituted another minor feast on the 8th day after
the principal feast. This is known as Ettamperunnal.
Of late this feast also has attained as much importance
as the principal feast.
year 'Forty hour devotion' marks the commencement of
the festival. The festival begins on the 23rd of April
with solemn High Mass and Litany. On the 25th flag is
hoisted solemnly and ceremoniously .
two feasts are celebrated in this church, one on the
24th and 25th of Makaram (January-February) and the
other on 23rd of Medam (April-May). The former is the
St. Thomas shrine at Malayattur is located about 9 km
to the north of Kaladi Ernakulam District is believed
to be one of the ancient catholic shrines. The chief
festival at the shrine is second Sunday, since the first
moon, after the Vernal Equinox (March 21). The Feast,
therefore, falls generally in the month of April or
at times in the last week of March. The Octave is celebrated
on the following Sunday. The pilgrims have to climb
a hill nearly 2000 feet high and on top of it is the
MANJINIKKARA CHURCH FESTIVAL
The church and Dayara at Manjinikkara derives its importance
from the holy tomb there. The sacred body of the late
lgnatius Elise III, the holy patriarch of Antioch and
all the East was interned there. Members of the Jacobite
Syrian Church believe that the Holy Father was a Saint.
The Church has now become one of the foremost places
St. Thomas is believed to have visited Niranam in 53AD,
erected a crucifix founded and built a church there.
The main religious festival is in honour of the Holy
Mother on August 15. Special mass is held on that day.
The birthday of St. Mary is celebrated on a grand scale
on 8th September. The feast of St. Thomas is celebrated
on 3rd July.
St. DOMINIC SYRIAN CHURCH FEAST, Aluva
The feast of St. Dominic church at Aluva falls on the
third Sunday after the Easter. The statue of the Saint
is taken out in procession on that day. The feast of
"Our Lady of the Holy Rosary" also consists
of a spectacular procession on the Sunday after 8th
The Madre De Teus Church, popularly known as Vettukadu
church, is situated around 7 kms from Thiruvananthapuram.
The annual festival of the church is celebrated over
the ten days culminating in the last Sunday of the liturgical
year. Various religious rites are carried out during
the festival days.
St.Mary's Church at Kallooppara stands in close proximity
to the Kallooppara Bhagavathy temple. Inside the church,
on its eastern and western wings, there are two granite
slabs with some inscriptions in the Pali language. The
Palli perunal and the foundation day of the Church are
the two celebrations held on January 15 and July 5 respectively.
Bakrid, to be rightly called Idul-Azha or the festival
of sacrifice, is the second of the two festivals of
Islam. Muslims observe this festival all over the world.
It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hagg, the last month of
the lunar year. It is celebrated in commemoration of
Abraham's willingness to offer his only son as a sacrifice
at God's command. In Kerala as in other parts of the
world, this day dawns with the resounding of Thakhir
(Allahu Akbar), the declaration that God are great.
Every Muslim house wakes up with the spirit of sacrifice
and festivity. Men, women and children, dressed themselves
in their best attire and reciting the Thakbir, proceed
to Id-Gah which is the wide open space set apart for
public prayers. The whole atmosphere is filled with
the resonance of "Allahu-Akbar".
The famous Haj is performed after the celebration of
Idul Fitr is celebrated after the conclusion of the
Ramzan fast when Muslims give up all kind of food and
drink during the day and spend the major part of the
night for prayer.
Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, was born on the 20th
April, 571 AD. Muslims all over the world celebrate
the birth of the Prophet in various ways. Reading what
is commonly known as the Maulod' which is a short biography
of the Prophet written both in verse and prose in the
Arabic language has been the common ritual of the day.
Of late in Kerala, there has developed another practice
connected with the Miladi Sharif. Night lectures are
organised during the first twelve days of the month
when Muslim Ulemas through their discourses enlighten
the people on the various aspects of the life of the
Muharram, the forbidden month, is the opening month
of the Hejira year. The Sunnies as well as the Shias
all over the world celebrate the 10th day of the month.
It was on this day that God is believed to have created
Adam and Eve and that the Pharoah of Egypt and his countrymen
were drowned in the Red Sea by the will of the Almighty.
Again it was on this day that the most lamentable carnage
at Kerbala took place in 680 A.D. The 10th day of this
month (May) is honored by the Muslims of Kerala. As
per belief, it was on this day that the Imam Hussain,
the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his men were slain
The Chandankudam at Beemapally near Thiruvananthapuram
is one of the most colourful Muslim festivals in Kerala.
It is said to be the death anniversary of Beema
Beeevi, a devout pilgrim lady .The festival begins on
the 1st of Jamadul Akhar of the Hijira Era (October)
and lasts for ten days.
Nercha, is a festival held at Pattambi Mosque Palakkad
in memory of Aloor Valiya Pookunjikoya Thangal, a Muslim
saint of Malabar
JAIN FESTIVAL at Palakkad
There is an ancient Jain Temple at Jainamedu near the
Palakad town. According to a legend, one Sutar, head
of the Jains, built this temple 500 years ago for the
Jain sage Chandranathaswamy.
“Among the Jewish festivals, the Sabbath (Saturday)
occupies the pride of place. The Sabbath gives the laborer
every week a day of rest and leisure.
Passover or the feast of unleavened bread is one commemorating
the birth of Israel as a nation and deliverance of the
Jews from the Egyptian slavery. It falls in April or
Pentecost is another Jewish festival held in May-June.
It has an agricultural and historical significance.
The feast of Tabernacle is another pilgrim festival
falling in either September or October. During this
feast, Jews set temporary booths covered with palm leaves
and decorated with citrus and other fruits.
The Jewish New Year falls in September or October. It
is not a time for revelry, but a solemn season for self-assessment
and judgment in the life of the Jew.
The Day of Atonement following the New Year is the most
solemn day in the Jewish calendar. Not a morsel of food
or a drop of water will pass the lips of the observant
Jews from subset of the previous day till after the
nightfall of the next day.
The Jews will be in the synagogue of devoting themselves
to fervent prayers. The Hanukkah or the festival of
lights is another popular celebration of the Jews.”