History[ edit ] "There can be no doubt", say Bridget and Raymond Alchin, "that a very large part of this modern folk religion is extremely ancient and contains traits which originated during the earliest periods of Neolithic, Chalcolithic settlement and expression" mainly there is no doubt, giving from fremin. Kurup , it can be said that all the prominent characteristics of primitive, tribal, religious worship had widened the stream of Theyyam cult, where "even the followers of Islam are associated with the cult in its functional aspect"  and made it a deep-rooted folk religion of millions. For instance, the cult of Bhagawathi, the Mother Goddesses had and still has an important place in Theyyam. Besides this, the practices like spirit-worship, ancestor-worship, hero-worship, masathi-worship, tree-worship, animal worship, serpent-worship, the worship of the Goddesses of disease and the worship of Gramadevata Village-Deity are included in the mainstream of the Theyyam cult. Along with these Gods and Goddesses there exist innumerable folk Gods and Goddesses. Different branches of mainstream Hindu religion such as Shaktism , Vaishnavism and Shaivism now dominate the cult of Theyyam.
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The State has numerous holidays due to Festivals. Its also one of the most secular festival. Onam festivities last for ten days and brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. Though the festive mood is spread everywhere in Kerala, the focal point of Onam celebrations happens in Kochi. The Parade is extremely colour and depicts all the elements of Kerala culture with more than 50 floats and tableaux. The main center of festival is at Thrikakkara temple within Kochi City, believed to be the ancient capital of King Mahabali.
The Temple festival also marks the start of Onam The festival is celebrated in memory of the mythical King Mahabali and his reign, during which perfect harmony and prosperity prevailed. This golden age ended when Vamana, the dwarf incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, expelled him from his throne to the netherworld.
On account of his virtue, Mahabali was allowed to visit his subjects once a year, during Onam. Though the myth behind Onam is a Hindu tradition, the festival is equally celebrated in all its zest and glitz by all communities like Christians, Muslims etc. There are special Masses for Onam day in churches and get-together among Muslim families Onam today is considered to the biggest Shopping festival in urban areas, particularly Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode etc. Most of the shops give Mega discounts and special promotions happen for White goods as well as electronic items, making an ideal time for shopping.
Dress and fabrics get a special attention during this season and make any shoppers crazy to shop with they die with fatigue. Onam feast is the largest of all Feasts in Kerala where minimum 25 to 30 Curries and 4 to 5 Desserts are served. Normally Onam is a pure Veg festival and people of all religions do adopt Veg Foods on Thiruvonam day considering its traditional Hindu origin. Onam evening is marked with village games and cultural programs, mainly limited to rural areas.
Thiruvanathapuram city has the biggest official celebrations with 10 day and night long dance, music and various events along with heavy illumination and fireworks. Recently official celebrations are extended to Kochi and Kozhikode, though not of the scale as in Thiruvanathapuram.
Vishu falls on Malayalam Month of Medam 1st normally 14th or 15th or 16th day of April. Its considered to be the most auspicious day to start anything new. 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. 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 adieu 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. Today many clubs and hotels offer New Year Eve bash, which is also a good time to welcome New year.
Beware of heavily drunken locals during party time, as a few cases of attempted molest were reported during beach parties and Fort Cochin Party. However its safe, Tourist Police is being deployed in these areas and in event of such case, swift and strong action are taken. Its public holidays on these days and special Id Prayers are held in large grounds in morning, followed by public fest. The major celebration happens in Malabar side, particularly Kozhikode which is extremely famous for its Muslim festivals.
Sweets and Malabar Special foods dominate major part of these festivities. Try enjoying the special Malabar Biriyani and other unique Malabar food mostly Chicken and Mutton based. Also Id days are known for shopping in these regions, particularly dress and sweets. On Ramadan Fasting month, special evening bazaars are common in many Malabar cities and extremely famous for the unique Malabar snacks taken as part of breaking fast. Do try this during the Ramadan season.
However Public drinking and Consuming food openly during Ramadan season in Malabar side is frowned upon. Take extra caution that majority of restaurants donot open till Sunset in Malabar region. However in South Regions, its not as stringent as in Malabar side. Try Ramadan special sweets and snacks during fast breaking time in Fort Cochin as well as Chala Bazaar in Thiruvananthapuram. Its worth to try. Thrissur Pooram is called Festivals of Festivals, marking the biggest and most gala temple festival.
Its actually a competition of festivities between two temples and nearly parades of 30 to 50 decorated elephants along with huge temple orchestration normally associated by to musicians happen, making it a visual treat. The fireworks display is also a competition between two temples and 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.
This is an most important festival and worth to see atleast once in a lifetime. A word of caution:- the festival is graced by more than , people across the state and it will be extremely heavy rush in the city on the festival day.
Prior booking in hotels as well as on terrace tops is nessecary to view the amazing fireworks and parade. Both are celebrated in Thiruvananthapuram and its focal point is at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. The time of Arattu is a public holiday in the Thiruvananthapuram city and during the bathing time at Sea shore in Shangumugham beach, no aircrafts are allowed to fly over as the Trivandrum Airport is nearby, as a respect to lord. Share this:.
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