Crafts Festival (December - January)
The craft festival is held annually during December-January. This festival features the work of craftsmen from all over the country.
Kerala Tourism Boat Races (January)
The Boat Race is conducted on 19th January every year to coincide with the great elephant march which is held on 17-20 January.
Ashtami Rohini (August - September)
Vadayattukotta Temple celebrates 5 day Ashtami Rohini festival. There are various amusements and festivities which are held in connection with festivals in temples.
Vishu is more important among Hindu festivals of Kerala, which occurs in April. Vishu marks the sowing season and is celebrated with great devotion all over Kerala. Every Hindu wakes-up to see as the fight sight, the "Vishukkani", a decorated plate, full of fruits, 'konna flowers', gold ornaments, portraitsof different deities, all placed in the full glow of lighted bell metal lamps. The belief among the people is that by seeing 'vishukkani', they will have ensured a prosperous year for agriculture. Children as well as adults explode crackers to ward off evil spirits during Vishu
Onam is one of the greatest festivals of Kerala. It is the festival, which the keralites celebrates unitedly without the differecnce of caste and religion. Onam is a celebration of Ten days. It comes in the month of "Chingam" according to Malayalam calender. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King. There will be competition for the laying of flower mats; Keralites all over the world will be celebrating this ten days will pomp and gaiety. They will wear new dresses, will be visiting almost all temples which they can, they will be performing lot of dances like Thiruvathira kali Thumbi Tullal etc. to name a few and the most important thing is the grant lunch - Onasadya they will be having on the Thiuruvonam day. Which is also called the Fourth Onam. Whatever may happen they will not miss the Grant lunch. There is a saying in Malayalam that "Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam" which means "We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties". They give that much importance to the lunch on the Thiruonam day.
The mock swork-fight Oachirakkali is one of the most important of such festivals. Oachira has been famous for long as one of the sacred places of Kerala. Historically too this place is very famous, for, it was on the plains of Oachira that the much famed battle in the history of Travancore, the battle of Kayamkulam, was fought between Marthandavarma, the Maharaja of Travancore and the Raja of Kayamkulam. In commemoration of this historic battle Ochirakkali is conducted on the first and second of Mithunam (June-July) every year. On this occasion, the young and the old, drawn from the two Karas lying east and west of Oachira, from themselves into two groups, reach the Padanilam (the place for fighting) and conduct the age-old fencing exercise under the leadership of the elder kalari asan.
Kottamkulangara Temple (Vilakkeduppu festival)
In Kottamkulangara Temple in Chavara, there is a peculiar custom of men dressing up as women and carry lighted lamps (Thalappoli). The Uriyadi is a typical festival associated with Krishna Temple. The annual Uriyadi festival held at Vadayattukotta temple in connection with Ashtami Rohini deserves mention. The Kettukazhcha (exhibition of effigies) festival held at Mahadevar Temple, Thrikkadavur in February-March every year is one of the colorful festival of the district. There are similar festivals in the temples of Sasthamcotta, Velinallur, Chathannur, Chirakkara etc.
Maramadi Malsaram (Cattle race festival)
Maramadi Malsaram,an Ox race carnival, commonly held in villages of kerala during harvest season.Vast stretches of freshly ploughed paddy field (Kandam) form the stadium of the race.A pair of oxen managed by 3 person form a participating unit. 20 such units participated in the race.
Elephant festivals (Nov to May)
In Malayalam Gajamela, an assembly of caparisoned elephants, marks the grand finale of the festivities. The Gajamela is a tribute to the presiding deity, Bhadrakali. About 50 tuskers line up for the pageant. Traditional drum orchestras and cultural programmes are also held. It includes procession and fire works.
In Kollam having the large number of elephant festivals held, From Nov to May in every week you can see the festivals in any of the Hindu temples in kollam
Some of the major events are-
Kollam Pooram (April)
One of the most colourful festivals of Kerala, Kollam Pooram is connection with the 10 day long annual festival of the Asramam Sri Krishnaswamy Maha Temple held in the month of April. The pooram which is organised on the tenth day of the festival at the Asramam maidanam attracts a large crowd. Started off as Arattu Utsavam in late 70’s, this festival shot to limelight and came to be in the present form in 1996 after the official inauguration of ceremony by the His Lordship, Sree Marthanda Varma.
The deities of the nearby temples partake in this festival and on the pooram day, in the morning, these deities come on caparisoned elephants to pay homage to the Sree Krishna deity at Ashramam. This is known as cherupooram. The grand spectacle of the festival, Kudamattam ceremony is carried out by late afternoon. It is a ritual in which 30 tuskers split into two groups of 15 each, representing Thamarakulam Sri Mahaganapathi Temple team and the Puthiyakavu Bhagavathy Temple. Kudamattam which is held to the beats of traditional melam is followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Several cultural programs like ganamela, kathakali etc are organised during the festive days.
Parippalli Gajamela is part of the annual festival of Kodimoottil Sree Bhagavathi Temple, located at Parippalli in Kollam district.
The ten-day festival that falls in the month of Kumbham (February-March) is a grand event. Colourful processions complete with elephant pageantry and Thalappoli (women in traditional attire holding lighted lamps in decorated platters) add charm to the festivities. On the ninth day of the festival Kuthiyottam, the ritual in which devotees attach metal rods to their body, is held.
Anayadi Elephant Pageantry
The Anayadi Pazhayidam Sri Narasimha Swami Temple’s principal deity is Narasimha, the lion headed incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The concluding day (Makaram's Thiruonam [Jan-Feb]) of the 10 day long festival is marked by a grand elephant pageantry, in which 80 odd caparioned tuskers take part. The Anayadi temple is in Kollam district.
Panmana Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Near Karunagappalli, Kollam, An important festival of South Kerala.The main events of this pooram are grand procession of caparisoned elephants, native temple orchestrations etc. As the conclusion of the festival there will be an elephant pageantry in which about two dozen caparisoned elephants will participate.
The thiruvathira festival at the famed Kottarakara Ganapathy temple is held in the Malayalam months Meenam/Medam (April). This well-known temple has a rare specialty that makes it different from many other ganapathy temples. The fact is this is a Siva temple, but it is not known by the principal deity's name. The principal deity here is Paramasiva having an eastward darshan and ganapathy is in fact an upadevan here. Moreover, the Ganapathy idol here was not installed according to the tantra rituals.