(Last Updated on : 21-03-2013)
Through out the year festivals of Kerala Backwaters are celebrated in great festivity and enthusiasm. Each and every year Onam festival is celebrated and is the most popular one. Onam commemorates the holly occasion of return of King Mahabali , a legendary ruler. The reason for his coming back every year is to check on the well being of his followers. The gateway of every house is adorned with carpets of flowers. Also splendid feast and cultural programs follow afterwards. There are religious festivals like Id and Christmas, which also are celebrated by all the people.
Special festivals and also religious festivities are feted. One of the festivals of Kerala Backwaters is the Snake Boating race, which used to be organized in the scenic backwaters near Alappuzha. There is an interesting story behind it. In the honor of Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru this colorful occasion was organized. He was awe struck and also donated a trophy. It is called Nehru Trophy when this affair is organized on a yearly basis. In the midst of hula bulla the rowers display their skills in the trilling races using huge snake-like boats beautifully decorated. They are called "Chundanvalloms" which can accommodate nearly hundred rowers. The festive mood is accelerated with musical melodies and excitement of the participants. Beautiful festival of Thrissur is one of the colorful festivals of Kerala Backwaters. To the tourists it offers a spectacle. The figures of deities of Thrissur's two temples are exquisitely placed on the elephants. Elephants are placed in rows facing each other and are colorfully decorated. People like priests, drummers and devotees of the temples of Thrissur sit in the middle.
The mood is made apt with the rhythms of musical instruments like drums, percussions, lightening of fireworks and cheerfulness of frenzied mob. As per the Malayalam calendar it is held on the month of Medom i.e , during April - May each and every year.
To cater to the demands of a number of pilgrims going for pilgrimage to Sabarimala becomes a huge affair. It is in fact one of the prominent festivals of Kerala Backwaters also. It was organized every year, which draws myriads of devotees from all over South India who visit to the hill shrine of Ayyappan deity. The most important day of this festival is the Makkara Vilakku day. On that day a light is viewed illuminated on a hill in the neighborhood thereby marking deity's presence. Near the Sabarimala temple is the Idol Vavar, who is a 'Muslim friend' and an ardent follower of deity, which lies very close to Sabarimala temple. Devotees also pay visit to the shrine leaving a mark of communal harmony.
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