Kerala is a land of many wonderful festivals which have a history behind them. Festivals are celebration time in Kerala. Most of the festivals of Kerala are connected with local traditions and religions. The colourful Kerala festivals are as diverse as the land. Besides being a time to express the spirit of celebration, festivals preserve the wonderful Kerala tradition and culture. Festivals express the harmony of spirit. With so much fun and excitement, festivals are a time to come together with family and friends. Boat races, which is an important event in Kerala was first originated as a religious event and gradually turned out to be a great social event.
Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala and it falls in the Malayalam month Chingam (between the period August - September). Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala and is celebrated all over the state among all the communities with equal fervor. Carnival of Onam lasts for 10 days. It brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition including pookkalam (decorated flower designs), delicious Sadhya, Kaikottikali (a dance form performed by women in sari) , snake boat race etc. Vallam Kali, the traditional boat race is another remarkable event in Kerala. It includes the race of traditional boats. Nehru Trophy boat race, boat race in Mannar, Aranmula and Thiruvandoor are some of the most important in the list. The excitement of the race attracts thousands of tourists every year.
There are so many religious and local festivals in Kerala. Some of the most important Hindu religious festivals are
Vishu : Vishu, the astrological new year day of Kerala is celebrated with great passion and spirit by bursting the crakers and going to the temple. The heart of this festival lies in the preparation of Vishu Kani, the divine offering consists of arrangement of articles like raw rice, vegetables etc in Pooja room along with the yellow Konna flower and the lighted bell metal lamp called Nilavilakku in the pooja room. This arrangement is done in the previous night and on the day of Vishu the first sight should be this Vishukkani. Vishu is celebrated in the month of April.
Thiruvathira, Thrikarthika, Ashtamirohini, Maha Shivaratri, Navaratri etc are some of the other Hindu festivals.
Christian religious festivals like Christmas and Easter are celebrated by Christians with great passion along with some local religious events conducted in churches in Mannar, Parumala etc. Maramon convention is another important christian religious event in Kerala.
Muslim religious festivals like Bakrid, Id Ul Fitr, Miladi Sharif, Muharram are celebrated by Muslims in Kerala. Chandanakudam at Beemapalli is another colourful Muslim festival in Kerala.
Apart from the religious festivals there are so many local festivals in Kerala celebrated with great passion and spirit. They include Pooram festivals,Theyyam festivals, Padayani festivals, Boat races etc.