The green land of INDIA
Kerala is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar Coast. It was formed on 1 November 1956 by combining various malayalam-speaking regions.Kerala is the twelfth largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts. Malayalam is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram.
Kerala is home to a number of performance arts. These include five classical dance forms:Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Thullal and Krishnanattam originated and developed in the temple theatres during the classical period under the patronage of royal houses.Kerala Natanam, Kaliyattam, Theyyam, Koothu and Padayani are other dance forms associated with the temple culture of the region. Some traditional dance forms such as Margamkali, Parichamuttu and Chavittu nadakam are popular among the Christians, while Oppana and Duffmuttu are popular among the Muslims of the state.
Most of the castes and communities in Kerala have rich collections of folk songs and ballads associated with a variety of themes;Vadakkan pattukal (Northern Ballads), Thekkan pattukal (Southern Ballads), Vanchipattukal (Boat Songs), Mappila pattukal (Muslim songs) and Pallipattukal (Church songs) are a few of them.
Kerala cuisine has a multitude of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fish, poultry and meat. Culinary spices have been cultivated in Kerala for millennia and they are characteristic of its cuisine.Rice is a dominant staple that is eaten at all times of day.Breakfast dishes are frequently based on the rice preparations idli,puttu, or pulse-based vada or tapioca.These may be accompanied by chutney, kadala, payasam, payar pappadam, appam, egg masala and fish curry.Lunch dishes include rice and curry along with rasam, pulisherry and sambar.Sadhya is a vegetarian meal, often served on a banana leaf and followed with a cup of payasam.Popular snacks include banana chips, yam crisps, tapioca chips, unniyappam and kuzhalappam.Non-vegetarian dishes, including those with beef and pork, are popular in the state.Sea food specialities include karimeen, prawn, shrimp and other crustacean dishes.One of the popular non-vegetarian cuisine in North Kerala is the Malabar biriyani, Kozhikode biriyani and Thalassery biriyani are its variations.
Major Festival of Kerala
- Onam is the most biggest festival in Kerala. It is the National Festival of Kerala with State holidays on 4 days starting from Onam Eve (Uthradom) to the 4rd Onam Day. Its also one of the most secular festival. Onam Festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King.
- Vishu is the second most important festival in Kerala. Vishu falls on Malayalam Month of Medam 1st (normally 14th or 15th or 16th day of April). Its considered as Astronomic New Year, as its the day when Sun enters into Tropic of Cancer. Its considered to be the most auspicious day to start anything new.
- Christmas is one of the Biggest festival in Kerala. Today X'mas has moved more a secular festival than a religious festival. The days starting from 23rd of Dec till 2nd of Jan is considered as most festive days in a year, with terrific shopping, parties, parades and the entire air is filled with festivities organized by many.
- New Year Eve on Dec 31st is a major festival in many Kerala cities, as anywhere else. The highlight of New Year festival is at Kochi, with the famous Cochin Carnival and Lighting of Papanai (a tradition inherited from Portuguese). The New Year is welcomed at Kochi, by lighting a huge effigy of Santa-like figure called Papanai exactly at stroke of midnight believed to bid bye to former year and light to welcome New Year. This is followed by a very gala party with dance and music till morning. These festivities happen in Fort Cochin.
- The most famous temple festival, that one should not miss is Thrissur Pooram at city of Thrissur happening between last week of April- mid of May. Thrissur Pooram is called Festivals of Festivals, marking the biggest and most gala temple festival.Nearly parades of 30 to 50 decorated elephants along with huge temple orchestration normally associated by 150 to 200 musicians happen, making it a visual treat. Apart from that, heavy temple decors and special lighting will be erected across the city and the most famous part is its heavy fireworks which is normally considered as one of the world's longest fireworks. The fireworks displayed goes on for more than 4 to 5 hours, till early morning. The most interesting fact, none of the fireworks are made using help of any computer technology or other electronic gadgets and all are still fired using the traditional means of lighting by hand, which makes it more special, unlike other major fireworks in other global cities
- Another major festivals, worth for a watch is Navarathiri during Sept-Oct time held twice in a Year. Both are celebrated in Thiruvananthapuram and its focal point is at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. Navarathiri is considered to be a major festival across India and in Kerala its related to worship of Goddess Saraswathi (Goddess of Learning and Knowledge).
- The Sree Padmanabha Arattu is again a Royal Procession of Lord Sree Padmanabha, the presiding deity of the Temple, happening twice in a year. As Lord Sree Padmanabha was the National Deity of the Travancore Kingdom who adored the title of Emperor of the Erstwhile Kingdom, the procession is considered one of the last legacy of royal heritage, with Kerala Police, Indian Army, Air force making its obligation to the Lord.