Kerala is the land of art and culture and well known for its colorful religious festivals. Keralites celebrate their festivals with high simplicity that illustrates the Keralian lifestyle. These festivals brilliantly transform the customs and offer unique and special flavor of Kerala. The rich and varied culture of this God’s Own Country is beautiful combination of mirth and happiness. Onam is a state festival in which new attire and spectacular feasts are must for its celebrations. The specialty of Kerala festivals is 2000 year old Kutiyattam which is a contemporary stage show. No festival is completed without this art event i.e. Kutiyattam. In Kerala, festival dates are announced as per the Malayalam Calendar and the local traditions as well as customs.
#1 Boat Races of Kerala
Boat race is one of the most popular water sports activities, organized by many social and religious organizations. Boats races are considered as traditional festival in Kerala that indicate the excellent team spirit, unification and mutual harmony of the people. These boat races include, Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, Champakkulam Boat Race, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Aranmula Vallamkali, and Payippad Boat Race.
|Boat Races||Event Date|
|Champakkulam Boat Race||28-Jun-18|
|Nehru Trophy Boat Race||11-Aug-18|
|Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race||24-Aug-18|
|Payippad Boat Race||27-Aug-18|
|Aranmula Boat Race in Pathanamthitta||29-Aug-18|
#2 Feasts in Kerala
All Feasts in Kerala are very colorful events held in different parts of Kerala. Many cultural performances including dazzling fireworks are the highlights of these events. Devotees from all parts of Kerala attend these feasts and celebrate them with full enthusiasm. These feasts include Parumala Perunnal, Edathua Perunnal, Puthupally Perunnal, Manarcad Perunnal, Vettukadu Feast, Malayattoor Perunnal, Palayur Church Festival and Arthunkal Perunnal.
|Feasts / Perunnal Festival Name||Event Date|
|Athirampuzha Perunnal||19 Jan 2018 to 25 Jan 2018|
|Arthunkal Perunnal in Alappuzha||27-Jan-18|
|Edathua Perunnal||27 Apr 2018 to 07 May 2018|
|Palayur Church Festival||06 May 2018 to 07 May 2018|
|Puthupally Perunnal||06 May 2018 to 07 May 2018|
|Manarcad Perunnal||01 Sep 2018 to 08 Sep 2018|
|Feast of Holy Cross Shrine||13 Sep 2018 to 14 Sep 2018|
|Feast of Vallarpadathamma||24-Sep-18|
|Koratty Muthy Feast||15-Oct-18|
|Vettukadu Feast in Thiruvananthapuram||17 Nov 2018 to 26 Nov 2018|
#3 Patayani Festivals of Kerala
Patayani Festival Dates
Patayani festivals are the most colorful and spectacular traditional folk events of Kerala. Patayani is an art form that includes music, dance, theatre, facial masks and paintings. These festivals involve a ceremonial dance which is an ancient tradition, performed in the honor of Devi Bhadrakaali in Bhagavati temples. Apart from the religious view, Patayani festivals also have its genuine secular appeal. These Patayani festivals include Neelamperoor Patayani and Kadammanitta Patayani.
|Event Name||Event Date|
|Kadammanitta Patayani||14 Apr 2018 to 21 Apr 2018|
#4 Theyyam Festivals of Kerala
Theyyam is considered as God’s dance, performed ritually to please the Goddess Kaali. This dance form is also called as Kaliyattam or Thriayattam. The most unique things about Theyyam dance are the ornamental decorations and the awesome makeup of the dancers. These amazing and flashy Theyyam dance festivals include Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam and Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple Festival.
Theyyam Festivals Dates
|Event Name||Event Date|
|Kuttikkol Thampuratti Theyyam||23 Feb 2018 to 26 Feb 2018|
|Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy- Witness Gods Dance||07 Dec 2018 to 16 Dec 2018|
|Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam||28 Dec 2018 to 01 Jan 2019|
#5 Pooram Festivals of Kerala
Pooram is a most famous temple festival, called as festivals of festivals. Basically it is a competition of festivities between two temples, in which nearly 30-40 decorated elephant’s parades along with the huge orchestration associated by 150-200 musicians. This parade is really a visual treat because of the special lights, decorations and dazzling fireworks. Pooram Festivals of Kerala includes Chinakkathoor Pooram, Arattupuzha Pooram, Peruvanam Pooram, and Thrissur Pooram.
Pooram Festivals Dates
|Event Name||Event Date|
#6 Festivals of Performance
The performance festivals of Kerala include Chuvadi Fest’13-Chavittu Nataka Festival and Swathi Sangeetholsavam. In these festivals you will enjoy the outstanding dance drama. Amazing make-ups, sophisticated costumes, and well defined body movements of these dance performances is really out of the world. The aroma of tradition and culture will be found in each and every performance of these events.
#7 Traditional Festivals of Kerala
Onam, a festival of flowers is celebrated with a great enthusiasm throughout Kerala. This ten day festival is generally falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam i.e. August to September. Onam is called as the state festival of Kerala and celebrated for the remembrance of Vamana avatara of Vishnu and for the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. This secular festival is one of the festivals celebrated with number of cultural elements like Vallam Kali, Pookkalam, Pulikkali, Thumbi Thullal, Onatthappan, Onavillu, Onapottan, Kazhchakkula, Atthachamayam etc. This festival is also called as harvest festival in Kerala as it comes during the harvest time.
This is the annual festival dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathyand celebrated in the Malayalam month of Kumbham i.e. February to March. Kettukazhcha is a spectacular event that makes this festival more peculiar in comparison to other festivals of Kerala. This festival will celebrate on February-2018.
This festival is celebrated at the renowned temple of Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram i.e. Attukal Bhagavathi temple to appease the presiding deity of the temple known as Attukalamma. One of the interesting facts with this festival is that only women can participate in the Pongala ritual. This festival will celebrate on March-2018.
Pulikali is an event that can be called as synonymous of the Onam festival. Generally this event is organized at the Swaraj Round in Thrissur District of Kerala. This event involves the fun and frolic of tigers, though the tigers are not real but men dressed as tigers. The objective of this event is to create a great deal of excitement for both the spectators as well as for the performers. This festival will celebrate on 28-Aug-2018.
Thiruvonam is the most auspicious day during the Onam festival which is celebrated throughout Kerala with full happiness, excitement and enjoyment. This is a celebration of parity, integrity, prosperity and justice. This national festival of Keralites is celebrated in the remembrance of the return of a mythical, righteous king called as Mahabali. On this auspicious day sumptuous feasts i.e. Onasadya are prepared and people relish the delicious payasam along with pleasure and hope. This festival will celebrate on Aug-2018.
The word Gajamela literally means festival of elephants and Parippally Gajamela is part of the annual festival at the Kodimoottil Sree Bhagavathy Temple. This festival is dedicated to worship the Goddess Bhadrakali. This is a grand spectacle of a 50 caparisoned elephant’s parade and no one would like to miss an opportunity to be a part of this festival. This festival will celebrate on March-2018.
|Onam||15 Aug 2018 to 27 Aug 2018|
Apart from these traditional festivals, Eid ul Fitr, Kalpathi Ratholsavam, Koodalmanikyam Festival, Kottiyoor Festival, Ayilyam Festival at Vettikode, Panachikkadu Festival, Mannarasala Ayilyam, Vaikathashtami, Alpashi Utsavam, Christmas, Navarathri Festival, Painkuni Festival, Ochira Kali, and Njangattiri Aanayoottu are the other famous traditional festivals of Kerala. Kerala Festivals are really unique of its kind having lots of colors and joy. People of Kerala are known for simplicity and this is shown clearly in their festivals.