Most Popular Festivals In Kerala

Kerala is a state in southern India it has beautifully embraced its cultures and traditions. Not only does the state have the highest literacy rate in the country, but it is also extremely diverse in terms of race and religion.

The 500-year-old dance form known as Kathakali, which is highly regarded worldwide, serves as an example of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. Kerala’s countless more breathtaking features enlighten the heart in countless different ways. In this post we will acknowledge the 8 most popular festivals in kerala.

1) Onam

Onam is Kerala’s major national harvest festival, and it draws many visitors from around India. According to folklore, the Onam festival commemorates the demon King Mahabali’s entry into Kerala. The Onam festival is observed every year for ten days, during which many rites are performed with great devotion to welcome the kind and gracious King. Atham, Chithira, Pooradam, Uthradom, and Thiruvonam are the names of these ten Onam days. Kerala appears vibrant during these 10 days of Onam as people don new attire, prepare delectables, adorn their homes, and plan numerous cultural activities.

When Celebrated: August

Location: All Over Kerala

What To Expect: Devotees Bathe, Wear Traditional Clothes, Draw Flower Rangolis

2) Attukal Pongala

Kerala’s Attukal Pongala is a religious celebration honoring Goddess Bhagavathi. Attukal Pongala, observed for 10 days just at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, is the largest gathering of women in history. The most intriguing aspect of this celebration is that men are not allowed anywhere near the temple complex because it is a women-only event.

On February 23, 1997, during Pongala, which attracted 15 million ladies, the ritual was included in the Guinness Book of World Records. A special Guinness World Records event celebrated 25 million visitors in 2009. The Sabarimala, for ladies, is another name for this temple.

When Celebrated: August

Location: All Over Kerala

What To Expect : Women Wear New Clothes

3) Thrissur Pooram

The Keralan temple festival, known as Thrissur Pooram, is a must-see event. These temples send processions to the Vadakkunnathan Temple, the focal point of the Pooram, to offer worship to Shiva, the presiding deity.

A large gathering of Goddesses and Gods ride ornamented elephants into the Vadakkumnathan Temple grounds. The festival’s atmosphere is enhanced by elephants in captivity, colorful umbrellas, and drumming that is in time with the music. A fantastic instrumental performance that provides a kaleidoscope image of Kerala’s lively festivals is another highlight of this cultural festival.

When Celebrated: April-May

Location: Thekkinkadu Maidanam, Thrissur

What To Expect : Display Of Fireworks

4) Theyyam

Theyyam, a stunning dance festival in Kerala, is called God’s dance and includes 400 different forms. The size and design of the ornaments worn by the Theyyam dancers are worth observing despite the variations in make-up, costumes, lyrics, and choreography for each dance form. The four-day celebration dates back to the Dravidian era and is an essential element of Kerala’s prehistoric tribal culture.

When Celebrated: December-April

Location: Kasargod

What To Expect : Kaliyattam, a ritual dance in Kerala

5) Kerala Boat Race

The Kerala Boat Race Festival alone attracts thousands of people from all over the world and is one of the main highlights of Kerala tourism. The Nehru Trophy on Alleppey’s Punnamada Lake and the Aranmula Snake Boat Race draw the most tourists due to their magnificence out of the four well-known snake boat races. The snake boat race has a 400-year history dating to when regional kings engaged in boat battles. In Kerala, boat race festivities are typically a one-day event; however, in Aranmula, they are observed continuously for ten days.

When Celebrated: August-September

Location: Alleppey, Payippad, Aranmula

What To Expect : A Rhythmic Rowing Race

Photo by –

6) Makaravilakku

In Kerala, the well-known Makar Sankranti festival is known as Makaravilaku. The Sabarimala temple, a well-known Indian pilgrimage site, is where several rites, including purification, Prasadasudhi, and Deeparadhana, take place during this ancient festival of Kerala. The presence of thousands of devotees from across India and thousands of saints make Makaravilakku one of Kerala’s most important festivals. The Sabarimala hill shrine gathering and the Thiruvabharanam procession are also part of the festival. An estimated 500,000 worshippers travel to Sabarimala to see this procedure in person every year.

When Celebrated: Mid-January

Location: Sabarimala

What To Expect : The Lighting Of The Lamp On The Potential Ponnambalamedu Hill

7) Painkuni Festival

The Painkuni festival which lasts for ten days and is the most well-known festival in Kerala, is lavishly celebrated at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The Travancore Royal Family’s head carries out the Palli Vetta royal hunt ritual on the 9th day of the Painkuni festival in the vicinity of Vettakkorumakan Temple in the Fort. To please Indra, the Rain God, huge fiberglass statues of the Pandavas have been erected just at the temple’s eastern gate. Near Shanghumugham beach, statues are submerged in the water.

When Celebrated: March-April

Location: Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram

What To Expect : Unique Rituals

8) Ambalapuzha Arattu

As in the small coastal city of Kerala, Ambalapuzha Arattu is a ten-day celebration that kicks off with the unique flag-raising ceremony known as Kodiyettu. A procession of tuskers wearing armor participates in this Keralan festival, and Velakali, a martial art form with its roots in Ambalapuzha, is also demonstrated. On the day of Pallivetta, a special meal called Ambalapuzha Nadakashala Sadya is served. Arattu, the deity’s sacred bath at Shangumugham Beach, marks the end of the festival, which lasts ten days.

When Celebrated: March-April

Location: Ambalapuzha

What To Expect : Performances Of Velakali – A Martial Art Form

Final Words

By traveling to essential cities in Kerala, you can take part in the holiday as mentioned above events. You are undoubtedly prepared for your trip to Kerala. You will only learn more about the culture by participating in these events in Kerala.

Having your best friend with you always makes for the ideal plan. Please share this with your closest friends so they can experience their dose of wanderlust! We hope you must have acknowledged everything regarding 8 most popular festivals in kerala.