Most Popular Festivals of Kerala

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals of Kerala

Kerala is most popularly known for its festival of Onam, but it also has other major festivals that we all ought to know about and that’s what we are about to help you out with! Onam, Vishu, Thrissur (Read More) Pooram, Thiruvathira, Theyyam Festival, Attukal Pongala, Christmas, Makaravilakku Festival, Arattu at Trivandrum, Ambalapuzha Arattu, Aranmula Uthrattathi, Adoor Gajamela are some of the most popular festivals in Kerala.

Here is the list of 12 Most Popular Festivals of Kerala

1. Onam

Onam

Onam! The national festival of Kerala celebrated for the coming of the King Mahabali. This festival falls in August-September and has a wonderful story attached to it. Onam is a very important festival to the people of Kerala and has been celebrated in a grand manner every year.

Onam 2021 : Onam 2021 will begin on Thursday, 12 August and ends on Monday, 23 August

2. Vishu

Vishu

There is not much to be said about Vishu but it is the Second most important festival of Kerala as it marks the New year which normally falls on the 14th, 15th, or 16th of April. This day determines how the rest of the year is going to be for the malayalis. 

Vishu 2021: Wednesday, 14 April

3. Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram

This festival is one of the most famous Temple festivals of Kerala. It is celebrated in Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur. People sit on huge elephants that are fully dressed for the occasion outside the temple. Thrissur Pooram is a famous festival of Kerala for its very long and beautiful fireworks that are lit all night.

Thrissur Pooram 2021: 23 April 2021

4. Thiruvathira

Thiruvathira

This festival is mostly celebrated in the month of either December or January. This festival is in total dedication to Lord Shiva and it is believed that this day is perfect and very auspicious to worship Lord Shiva. All the devotees of Lord Shiva make their way to the temple for the Lord’s blessing.

Thiruvathira 2021: December - January

5. Theyyam Festival

Theyyam Festival

Remember those painted, masked faces you saw when you were little dancing to beautiful rhythms? Well, Theyyam is just that. This festival is almost 800 years old and has people coming from all over India to perform their dances while dressed up as Deities.

Theyyam Festival 2021: March 8-13

6. Attukal Pongala

Attukal Pongala

This is celebrated on the ninth day of the ten long days of the actual festival in the month of February- March, only women are allowed to participate in this festival. The sweet dish called ‘Pongala’ is prepared by the women in the morning and is ready by noon for the offering. This dish is made from boiled rice, jaggery, and coconut.

Attukal Pongala 2021: February 27, 2021

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7. Christmas

Christmas

Like in any other place, Christianity has also taken its toll in Kerala with the number of Christians increasing day by day. Due to this reason, Christmas is a very big festival in Kerala, thanks to all the Christian communities. Well, we don’t think we have to explain the reason Christmas is celebrated right? Everyone knows the story of the birth of Baby Jesus.

Christmas 2021: 25 December

8. Makaravilakku Festival

Makaravilakku Festival

Makaravilakku is an annual festival that is celebrated in Sabrimala temple on the occasion of Makar Sakranti on 14th January each year. A procession of people, dressed up in sacred attire, carry ornaments of Ayappan that are called Thiruvabharanam. The journey advents two days prior to Makara Jyothi Day from Pandalam.

Makaravilakku Festival 2021: January 14

9. Arattu at Trivandrum

Arattu at Trivandrum

The Arattu (holy bath) of Lord Padmanabhan is held in Padmanabaswamy temple during the Painkuni Festival. It is one of the important rituals held as part of the festival, and the uniqueness of this festival is that the head of the Travancore royal family still escorts the idols in his traditional attire during the procession to the Shanghumugham beach.

Arattu at Trivandrum 2021: 24 March 2021

10. Ambalapuzha Arattu

Ambalapuzha Arattu

Held at the Sree Krishnaswamy Temple at Alapuzha, the Ambalapuzha Arattu festival is celebrated enshrining Ambalapuzha Unnikannan. It is a ten-day festival where the Arattu is conducted on the final day called as the Thiruvonam Nakshatram. 

Ambalapuzha Arattu 2021: 11 March - 20 March

11. Aranmula Uthrattathi

Aranmula Uthrattathi

The Aranmula boat race is a century old boat race that’s celebrated on the occasion of Aranmula Uthrattathi. The snake boats move in pairs with an excited crowd cheering on the banks of the river Pampa. 

Aranmula Uthrattathi 2021: 8 September

12. Adoor Gajamela

Adoor Gajamela

It is all in the name. Gaja in Sanskrit means elephant and mela is fair. Kerala is a place that revers elephants, hence any of the temple festivals you visit, you’re sure to witness elephants. Adoor Gajamela is a ten-day-long festival held in the Parthasarathy Temple that’s dedicated to Lord Krishna. 

Adoor Gajamela 2021: to be announced

This post was published by Simran Rigzin

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Top Hotels In Kerala

FAQs on Most Popular Festivals of Kerala

Which is the Famous Festival of Kerala?

Onam

Whats the traditional Festival of Kerala?

Thiruonam

How many festivals are there in kerala

There are countless festivals in Kerala but we've listed the top 12 popular festivals here.

What is the national festival of kerala?

Onam, it is also the harvest festival of Kerala

Which is the Famous dance of Kerala?

Kathakali and Mohiniyattam

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