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Fairs & Festivals

So, put your hiking boots on! Let’s go the green way.

Expressions Kerala Tours present a feast  to curious traveller, who wishes to explore the culture of Kerala, through its multitude of fairs and festivals of Kerala .The state of Kerala is as rich in its fairs and festivals as it is in its culture and tradition. Kerala has a colorful list of festivals, that color the state through out the year and these fairs are as diverse as the land proving the dictum of unity amidst diversity to be true in the country. Observed with enthusiasm and gaiety, these festivals are like gems ornamenting the crown of Kerala tradition and culture. As these Kerala festivals are spread throughout the year, every season hosts a new festival, which is a true celebration of the benevolence of the Nature. The festivals and fairs of Kerala is that cornerstone on which the whole mosaic of the Kerala culture, its tradition, and customs is built upon. Observed with fervor and gaiety, these year round celebrations mark the various interludes in the life of common man that adds spice to his life. The festivals and fairs of Kerala are a time to remember   

These festivals of Kerala are occasions for recalling the lives of kings, saints, and mystics around who are weaved a thousand stories that have nourished the culture of Kerala.  These Festivals of Kerala are also occasions that mark the passage of years, seasons, and agricultural cycles. The Kerala festivals exhibit a harmony between the diverse culture threads that are synonymous with the culture of Kerala. They are occasions for the renewal of the spirit of life in Kerala. During these festivals friends, family, and neighbours get together with a feeling of amity, clean up and decorate their houses, buy new clothes and exchange gifts.   

The king of festivals in Kerala is the Onam. This grand ten-day celebration is held in the in memory of King Mahabali, the benevolent King whose spirit is said to visit the state at the time of Onam. Onam comes in the months of August or September, the time when three months of continuous rain gives way to clear blue skies and an earth covered in a new coat of green paint. The celebration last for ten days and the day called the Thiruonam is the most important of all. All over the state, rituals along with new clothes, traditional cuisine, dance, and music mark this harvest festival. An important ceremony in Onam is the drawing of pookalam in which grand designs of carpets of flowers are laid down in front of the houses. The ethereal music associated with the stories of the return of King Mahabali also adds charm to the Onam celebrations.   

Vishu is another festival that is cherished by Keralites. Vishu is the New Year’s Day in the Malayalam calendar. The first day of Medom (March-April) is propitious day and family members gather together to make it the best day in that year. It is said that view good things on the morning of this day brings good luck to the person who views it. So family members are taken blindfolded to view the Vishu Kani early in the morning. The Vishu Kani is made from a large dish made of bell-metal (uruli), arrange in it a grantha (palm-leaf manuscript), a gold ornament, a new cloth, some flowers from the konna tree (Cassia fistula), some coins in a silver cup, a split coconut, a cucumber, some mangoes, and a jack-fruit. Later, a sumptuous feast is held. 

The most spectacular festival in Kerala is the Thrissur Pooram that occurs during April –May. It is a time for the two temples Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi to show off their grandeur by competing with each other in terms of the caparisoned elephants and parasols. On the day before the closing of the pooram the groups enter the Vadakumnatha temple through the western gate and come out through the southern gate to parade, face to face. Then after a day long celebration, the parasols on top of each of the elephants of the two groups are held up one after another. The music from the Panchavadyam or the five percussion and wind instruments reverberate throughout Thrissur. The festival ends with a brilliant display of pyrotechnics, that continue till the dawn of the next day. 

Other events like the Kerala Boat race add the zing to life in Kerala. The fierce Boat Race or the Vallom Kali attract thousands of people who chear and goad at the boatmen to row faster. The snake boats or the Chundan Valloms are large but swift boats manually rowed by many oarsmen. They are constructed by in the skilled hands of inspired master boat builders. They are the proud guardians of a branch of knowledge that has lived through time. 

On the great waterways of Kerala, fierce Vallom Kallies (boat races) are held at Aranmula on the Pamba River in the Kuttanad region, at Papiyad near Quilon, at Thayathangadi near Kottayam. These festivals hold tens of thousands of people spell-bound, cheering the action, laying bets, goading the boatmen to row faster.

Come, visit this land of exhilarating festival all year long. 

A 365 day festival of colours.