God's own country

kerala

Festivals 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 (Uthardom) 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. Onam is a reminiscent of Kerala's agrarian past, as its considered to be harvest festival.



The second most important festival in Kerala is Vishu. 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. Though it doesn't have as much as glitz that Onam has, still Vishu is an important day in Kerala, more famous for its Vishu Sadhya (Vishu Feast), Kainettam (First Gift by elders to young on start of New Year) and ofcourse shopping, due Vishu's legend of getting new on this day.



Another major festivals, worth for a watch is Navarathiri during Sept-Oct time as well as Sree Padmanabha's Arattu 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). In Thiruvananthapuram, Navarathiri season is marked with Parade of Kerala Police from the city to nearby Sree Padmanabhapuram Palace in Nagerkovil district of Tamil Nadu to bring the Royal Idols of Goddess (Goddess Durga is the family god of Travancore Royal family and these are still the continuation of Royal tradition as practiced in Travancore Kingdom). With the Parade of Armed Police, Mounted Police Battalions, Palace Guards, Members of Royal Family, the idols are brought to Thiruvanathapuram city and placed in Ramanar Palace near to Sree Padmanabha temple for the nine nights. The Nine nights are then marked with special musical programs, particularly the famous Classical music festival, which is worth to listen and enjoy

Dance

Kerala is home to a number of performance arts. These include five classical dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom, Thullaland 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 nadakom are popular among the Christians,while Oppana and Duffmuttu are popular among the Muslims of the state.Kerala is home to a number of performance arts. These include five classical dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom, Thullal and Krishnanattam, originated and developed in the temple theatres during the classical period under the patronage of royal houses.[305] Kerala natanam, Kaliyattam, Theyyam, Koothu and Padayani are other dance forms associated with the temple culture of the region.[306] Some traditional dance forms such as Margamkali, Parichamuttu and Chavittu nadakom are popular among the Christians, while Oppana and Duffmuttu are popular among the Muslims of the state.


Music

Development of classical music in Kerala is attributed to the contributions it received from the traditional performance arts associated with the temple culture of Kerala.[311] Development of the indigenous classical music form, Sopana Sangeetham, illustrates the rich contribution that temple culture has made to the arts of Kerala. Carnatic music dominates Keralite traditional music. This was the result of Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma's popularisation of the genre in the 19th century.[301] Raga-based renditions known as sopanam accompany kathakaliperformances.Melam; including the paandi and panchari variants, is a more percussive style of music it is performed at Kshetram-centered festivals using the chenda.Panchavadyam is a different form of percussion ensemble, in which artists use five types of percussion instrument.Kerala's visual arts range from traditional murals to the works of Raja Ravi Varma, the state's most renowned painter.[311] 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), Vanchi pattukal (Boat Songs), Mappila Pattukal(Muslim songs) and Pallipattukal (Church songs) are a few of them


Cuisine

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 Idiyappam, or pulse-based vada or tapioca. These may be accompanied by chutney, kadala, payasam, payar pappadam, Appam, egg masala and fish curry.[190] 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.[344] 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.


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