cultural events of kerala


1 month ago

Kerala has its own unique events to attend and experience which many of the people are unaware of and here we are listing out the best 6 of them to visit for a taste of the culture of the southern tip of India.


Sakthan Thampuran, the erstwhile ruler of Kochi (1790-1805) was the one to start this spectacular event. It has 200 years of traditional significance. The largest annual festival before this event, Thrissur Pooram, was known as Arattupuzha Pooram held at Arattupuzha.

Event in Kerala
Event in Kerala | Thrissur pooram

This is a seven-day festival, which happens in Thrissur, the Cultural Capital of Kerala, starting with the flag hosting known as Kodiyettam then followed by sample Vedikettu meaning sample firecrackers ceremony, on the fourth day of the festival. Everyone is thrilled and extravagantly ready for the Thrissur Pooram in Kerala.

Important Pooram is on the 6th day when the sojourn of ‘Pooram’ star is seen on the sky in the Malayalam month called Medam. And then the Rajas and priests of the two significant local temples Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and Paramekkavu Bhagwati temple give obeisance to the deity of Vadakkunnathan temple, that is, Lord Shiva.

Bustling humans, and a number of elephants lined up with colourful Netti Pattam are an amazing visual to witness. The prestigious attraction of the event, Thrissur Pooram, is the change of umbrellas known as ‘Kudamattam’ which usually takes place in the afternoon or early evening when the elephants of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi face each other in open ground, before the famous Vadakkunnathan temple.

The number of elephants used in each festival ranges up to 120 and elephants are lined up in an order to flaunt their dignity before the Vadakkunnathan temple.

This festival is attended not just by the locals but also by foreigners for the exciting charm the fireworks and parades produce. Around 300,000 people across India come to witness this traditional temple festival.


Attukal Pongal is known as the festival of Attukal Bhagavathy, held for 10 days at the Attukal temple located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This festival begins from the Malayalam star known as Bharani day also called as Karthika star of the Malayalam month of Makaram – Kumbham which means February – March and ends after a sacrificial ritual or offering referred to as ‘Kuruthitharpanam’ at dusk.  Pongala means ‘to boil over’.

Event in Kerala
Event in Kerala | Pongal

The Goddess worshipped here is referred to as Kannagi who is said to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, who is a consort of Lord Shiva.

This is a ritual where women prepare sweet rice ‘payasam’, which is made from jaggery, rice, coconut and plantains. On the 9th day of celebration, a huge crowd of women fills up the place, to do the Pongala, to offer it to the Bhagavathy or Goddess. It is believed that the Goddess of Attukal temple, referred to as ‘Attukalamma’ is then appeased by this ritual.

This fervor festival light’s up the whole city of Thiruvananthapuram, making it jam – packed for the day, and the increasing number of devotees has been recorded into the Guinness World Book of Records.


Theyyam is a traditional festival, significant since 800 years. The dance form of Gods makes it a pleasurable view. Kaliyattam is another name for the same. Here, efficient people dressed up as deities and come for the ritual dance of Gods.

Event in Kerala
Event in Kerala | theyyam

Theyyam approximately has 400 genus, including the famous Sree Muthappan Theyyam, Vishnumoorthy Theyyam, Muchilot Bhagavathy Theyyam, Sasthappan Theyyam, Gulikan Theyyam and Vettakkorumakan.

Kannur is known as the land of Theyyam. Folk art of Theyyam pertaining to different deities are held here.


This is one of the profound festivals that happens annually in the Sabarimala temple on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, that is, 14th January.

cultural event in  Kerala
event in Kerala | Makaravilakku

It is said that the rituals of Makaravilakku was conducted by the Malayaraya tribe known to be the descendants of the Malayaman Kaari at Ponnambalamedu which was later continued by the TDB, namely, Travancore Devaswom Board.

The important attraction of this festival is the grand ‘Thiruvabharanam’ procession which is, of the sacred ornaments of the Hindu God of Growth, namely, Shri Ayappan. Then a religious congregation takes place at the Sabarimala Shrine on the hill top. More than million people come to seek blessings here on the occasion of Makaravilakku in Sabarimala. Lighting of the lamp is the most important ritual of the Makaravilakku festival which is done at Ponnambalamedu. Lighting the lamp is the sign of commemoration.

Makaravilakku in Kerala also marks the end of pilgrimage which begins in the month of Vruchikam or mid-November.


Aranmula Boat Race is held annually in August – September on the Pampa River. Aranmula temple is 1700 years old which lies on the banks of River Pampa dedicated to Sree Parthasarathi who is said to be the charioteer of Arjuna. The boat race is part of the Aranmula temple festival.

cultural event in  Kerala
event in Kerala | Aranmula boat Race

It is one of the oldest boat race fiestas. This takes place in the festival of Onam in Kerala. It begins from the river Kallada at Munroe Thuruthu and is practiced on the 28th day after Onam. This festival is famous across the globe. The boat owners have dignity and pride for being able to participate in the boat race.


The Nehru Trophy Boat race is again one of the profound festivals that happen in Kerala which also gains attention from the foreign which is called ‘Vallam Kali’. This is held in Punnamada Lake or Kayal near Alappuzha, Kerala. The most famous event of the race is the competition known as ‘Chundan Vallams’.

cultural event in  Kerala
Nehru Trophy Boat race | Event in kerala

This event started taking place when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Alappuzha and was enchanted by the view of the snake boats only to step in it and take a tour. Later, in the same year, Nehru gifted a silver trophy to keep the memories intact as a form of the snake boat. And the name of the race was known to be The Nehru Trophy Boat Race. This competition has been held since the year 1952. 64 – 128 paddlers aboard the boat per side.

Chanchal Vinod

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