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8 Major Festivals in Kerala and The Places Where You can Best Experience them

India is a land of celebrations and through the year you can see various festivals scattered through the calendar. One of the most beautiful states which you can visit to see some of the grandest celebrations is Kerala. The magnificent coastal state of Kerala has a special place in the tourism of India due to its amazing landscape and rich culture. We have listed some of the major events and festivities and the best place you can visit to see them in all their glory. Here are the best places you can visit in Kerala on some popular occasions and the top things to do in Kerala during festival time.

8 Festivals in Kerala with Pictures

1. Onam


Onam is one of the major festivals in Kerala that is celebrated between August and September and the best time to visit Kerala. Each individual, irrespective of their religious or cultural background takes part in this festival. The festival marks the return of King Mahabali, who is known for sacrificing his life for his people. 

You can visit any city in Kerala to witness the zeal of the people to celebrate this festival. The celebrations run for almost 10 days and from offices to shops and houses are decorated with flowers and lights. Many cultural activities are carried out in these 10 days, such as Boat race, Pulikali, Tug of war, and Atthachamayam. You can also dig into several types of Kerala cuisines, available especially during this time.

City: All over Kerala.

2. Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram

For more than 200 years, this festival is being celebrated in April. The annual puja in honor of Lord Shiva is carried out for 36 hours. The festival is vibrant and you can witness the rich musical culture of Kerala. It is held at Vadakkunnathan Temple.

This festival is famous in Kerala as you will be able to see more than 50 caparisoned elephants that pass through the streets and they are accompanied by drums. A lot of fireworks can be seen for almost three hours as the celebration ends.

City: Thrissur

3. Kerala Boat Festivals

Kerala Boat Festivals

Backwaters are a major tourist attraction in Kerala for the houseboats. But that’s not the only thing about backwaters. This venue in Alappuzha is also used for thrilling boat races.

Held between July and September, the high-density rains swell up backwaters, and that is when the boat race festival is conducted. The boats are usually 100-120 ft long and around 100 rowers can be accommodated in one boat. The snake boat races are held in various parts of Kerala, but the famous are Nehru Trophy Boat Race and Champakulam Moolam Boat Race.

City: Alappuzha

4. Theyyam Festival

Theyyam Festival

The festival is being celebrated for around 800-years. It is celebrated between December and April and is a form of worship that is showcased through fold dance and art. The performers dress like deities, wearing masks, and perform in front of shrines.

The performers enact mythological stories through their performances. The performance is ended with distributing turmeric powder as Prasad, a token of blessing.

City: Kolathunadu region

5. Kodungallur Bharani Utsavam

Kodungallur Bharani Utsavam

Celebrated between March and April, it is one of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the state. The festival is hosted in the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple, in Kodugalloor.

Devotees dance and sing devotional songs in the group during the festival. The festival is celebrated for three days by people from various communities. The temple houses a 7ft high idol of Bhadrakali, which is made from the wood of the jackfruit tree.

City: Kodugalloor

6. Attukal Pongala

Attukal Pongala

It is one of the main festivals of Kerala. The festival is celebrated between February and March in Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. In this festival, only females can participate, and the festival has been listed in Guinness World Record for hosting the largest number of females, which increases every year.

The festival continues for 10 days, while the most significant day is the ninth day. The temple is dedicated to goddess Kannaki, a form of Goddess Parvathi. This festival is attended in this temple by females from all across the state. 

City: Thiruvananthapuram

7. Diwali


Diwali celebration in Kerala is comparatively subdued, but you can still visit Kochi to see the enthusiasm among people to celebrate the festival.

On the day of Diwali, you can witness fireworks in the sky and people lighting lamps in their houses. Some people also use fairy lights to decorate their house and celebrate the festival. You will find shops selling a wide variety of sweets. This also transforms Kochi into one of the best shopping places in Kerala.

City: Kochi

8. Christmas

Christmas in Kerala

From all the major cities in Kerala to the small villages, Christmas is celebrated in all corners of the state with great pomp.

The celebration commences from making a crib for baby Jesus to decorating a Christmas tree at home. Most people decorate almost the entire house. The fun part of the festival is visiting the carol groups along with Santa Claus to each home. People celebrate the festival with family and friends.

City: All across Kerala

You can enjoy the above festive occasions by taking road trips to major cities in Kerala. If you wish to explore them in-depth, it is recommended to take the car rental service by Revv, which will provide you ample time to explore these sites and enjoy the festivities without worrying about the rising taxi charges.

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The official blog of Revv Self Drive Car Rental, was started in November of 2019 with the aim to make leisure travel easy & accessible. The blog covers places to visit in India, new trends in the car rental industry & most importantly how to make your travel/roadtrip easy & memorable.

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