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Kerala Festivals

It is because of its numerous festivals and many temples, Kerala got its name — God’s own country. And when you are in Kerala for holidays, you must participate in some of its festivals to witness what color grandiose celebration of Kerala festivals take when put on top of the simplicity of life people enjoy in the state. Kerala is known for its rich and colorful celebration of various Kerala festivals. Be it state festival Onam or temple festivals like Chettikulangara Bharani, Thrissur Pooram, or any other Poorams. The state is also famous for much-decorated celebration of Shivarathri, which is a festival to appease Lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated primarily in Aluva and Padanilam Parabrahma temples.

Pooram Festivals
This is probably the most famous temple festival in Central Kerala — Thrissur, Malappuram, Palakkad, and parts of Ernakulam — which is celebrated after the summer harvest. In most of the Pooram festivals at least one elephant is decorated and paraded through the city district of the temple. Almost all Pooram festivals have one or more decorated elephants, with the notable exception of Aryankvu Pooram celebrated near Shoranur and Machattu Thiruvanikavu Vela near Wadakkanchery, which use mannequins of bullocks and horses.

The Thrissur Pooram is one of the most famous Pooram festivals which is held at the Vadakumnathan Temple in Thrissur. The Chettikulangara Bharani is another major temple festival held in Chettikulangara Temple, which is near Mavelikkara.

Pindi Perunnal
Like rest of the India, this is very much a secular state that respects and celebrates festivals of all religions. People in Kerala also celebrate Id and Christmas with equal gusto. Christians in the Thrissur district of Kerala celebrate Pindi Pernunnal with much enthusiasm. Pindi Pernunnal is the local name of the feast of Epiphany (Denha thirunnal), which is an important feast for Saint Thomas Christians. Like other Asian Christians, Saint Thomas Christians celebrate Denha to commemorate the baptism of Jesus in Jordon River.

Snake Boat race
This is not a religious festival, but calling it a cultural one is a safe bet. The Snake Boat race that takes place in the backwaters near Alappuzha was first conducted in 1952 to impress then prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who also was the first prime minister of India. Pandit Nehru was so impressed by the rowing of gigantic snake-like boats called "Chundanvalloms" that he awarded trophy to the rowers starting a new tradition of yearly Nehru Trophy.

A Chundanvallom is so huge that it can comfortably have 100 rowers seated. They all row the giant snake boat simultaneously to win the coveted Nehru Trophy.

In this article, I have just scratched the surface by dealing with three very famous festivals in Kerala. There are a lot of festivals that are celebrated in Kerala with equal zeal, and which you will not like to miss. And just reading about the festivals will not give you the real feel. You will have to visit Kerala to see all colors of Kerala festivals.