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Kerala Festivals are unique of its kind with full of colors. They unfold the rich and varied culture of the God's Own Country by combining mirth and joy. People of Kerala are known for simplicity and inherent religious nature. Kerala is actually the land of festivals where as some appears to have adopted from the cultures of other states. Kerala has brilliantly transformed the customs and then developed a unique and special flavor of Kerala.

Onam :
The Hindhu festival Onam is considered as the state festival of Kerala. This biggest festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. The celebration of Onam lasts for over ten days which brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. Ambrosial Onasadya, intricately decorated Pookalam, breathtaking Snake Boat Race and exotic Kaikottikali dance are some of the most remarkable features of Onam. As this festival comes during the harvest time, it is called as the harvest festival in Kerala.

Thiruvathira :
Thiruvathira is a religious festival of Kerala celebrated during the asterism Thiruvathira in Dhanu, the fifth month of Malayalam calendar (Kolla Varsham). Thiruvathira is essentially the festival for women. Ladies worship Lord Shiva and pray for conjugal harmony and marital bliss on this day. Thiruvathirakkali dance is the other very interesting facet of the festival enchantingly performed by women on this day.

Vishu :
The Hindu festival, Vishu is celebrated with joy and mirth on the first day of Malayalam month of Medam. It is actually the New Year festival of Kerala which holds a lot of significance for Hindus as Vishu marks the Astronomical New Year Day for Kerala. There are lots of colorful rituals and customs practiced by the people of Kerala on Vishu. These traditions are based on the belief that Vishu must be celebrated well as the good things of the first day of the New Year will continue for the rest of the year too.

Thrissur Pooram :
The most spectacular festival of Kerala, Thrissur Pooram is aptly called Pooram of all Poorams where Pooram means 'the meeting point of all the arts'. The 36 hours festival combines the rich art and culture of the state of Kerala can be seen in its entire splendor. This festival is celebrated in the asterism Pooram in the month of Medam according to Malayalese calendar. Pooram was first introduced by the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi, Rama Varma. The entire celebrations are held at Thekkinkadu ground encircling the Vadakunnathan temple. Large number of spectators and devotees assemble in this ground to witness the meeting of deities of ten different temples. The dazzling display of fireworks and procession of decorated elephants are the major attractions of this festival besides several other enthralling musical programmes and events.

Theyyam Festival :
The popular ritual art form, Theyyam is mainly confined to north Kerala. This traditional festival is rich in culture and is essentially a dance festival. Thje word Theyyam is assumed to be derived from the word 'Deivam' meaning God and 'Aattam' means dance. Thus Theyyam literally means the 'God's dance'. People worship deity and dancer is also considered as the deity. Devotees worship Mother Goddess in this art form. Theyyam is usually performed for six months beginning from the Malayalam month of Thullam (October-November) and continues till Edavam (May-June). These festivals are commonly held in the region of Kannur and Kasargod. Theyyam of Malabar region in north Kerala is the most prominent among all.

Mandala Pooja :
The celebrations of Mandala Pooja continues for a period of 41 days beginning from first day of the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam (November-December) and culminating on eleventh day of Dhanu (December-January). The devotees make a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala during this period. This celebration signifies 41 days of austerities. On the 41st day after the 1st of Vrichikam this prominent Mandala pooja is conducted.

Makaravilakku at Sabarimala Festival :
The seven-day festival, Makara Vilakku Pooja is conducted annually in the famous Ayyappa Temple of Sabarimala. The entire festival begins on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi, when the sun is in summer solstice (vernal equinox). It is also the first day of the Malayalese month of Makaram. On the day of Makara Vilaku Pooja the idol of Lord Ayyappa or Dharma Sastha was enshrined in the temple and is the most important event to be conducted at Sabarimala. Numerous devotees gather in the temple premise to participate in the celebrations of Makara Vilakku every year.

Attukal Pongala :
The extremely popular Attukal Pongala is essentially women's festival celebrated in ancient Bhagavathy temple (Mudippura) at Attukal in the Kaladi ward of Thiruvananthapuram district. This ten-day-long event commences from the Bharani day (Karthika star) of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March) and comes to an end with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam at night. The biggest day of the festival is the ninth day when the famous Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place. Plenty of women regardless of castes and creed make offerings for the Goddess by cooking pongala in the vicinity of the temple.

Kettukazcha :
The colorful event Kettukazcha, also called Kutirakettu, is celebrated in Nooranad village located in Kollam district of South Kerala. It is usually celebrated during the months of August-September or September-October. The Oachira Temple located nearly 32 kms from Kollam on the way to Alappuzha is the centre of activity of this festival. The absence of idol is the special feature of this temple. Here significance is given to the concept of 'Parabrahmam' (Cosmic Consciousness). The procession of decorated effigies of Lord Shiva's vehicle 'Nandi', the bull is carried out from this temple. This picturesque festival of rural Kerala attracts thousands of people every year.

Puthari :
The joyous harvest festival, Puthari also called as Huthari is celebrated at its best in South India. Puthari is actually celebrated after the paddy harvest in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September). Rice is just formed during this time and is brought to the house from the field and de-husked. It is basically the festival of toil and rejoices by dancing and singing. Villagers gather in temples to celebrate Puthari, which is the centre of cultural activities and make merry.

Ashtami Rohini :
Ashtami Rohini is the religious celebration of Hindus on the birthday of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami in the north India is the same with some regional variations. It comes in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September) under the fourth lunar asterism or Rohini Nakshatra.