(Last Updated on : 14-11-2009)
The South Indian villages are famous all over the country for their glittering festivals and their wonderful ways of celebrating these festivals. The south Indian village festivals are of different kinds like religious, or seasonal or related to harvesting. While some of the festivals are just agrarian and pastoral in nature, others are connected with mythology. There are also a few sports festivals celebrated in the villages of south India. The south Indian villages comprise the villages located in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, etc.
Dussehra is considered one of the major south Indian village festivals. This festival is celebrated in all the villages of south India with much pomp and liveliness. Karaga is a unique festival celebrated in the villages of Karnataka. It is celebrated on the full moon day of April, which is the first month of Kannada calendar. The New Year celebration in Karnataka is known as Yugadi. The villagers also celebrate the other major religious festivals like Makar Sankranti, Diwali, Holi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, etc. with great enthusiasm and cheerfulness. The birthday of Lord Ganesh, Vinayak Chaturthi is also celebrated in the villages of south India.
The villages of Kerala in south India are famous for backwaters and boat races, which are celebrated with great exuberance. Vishu is one of the most important south Indian village festivals and is the New Year of the Malayali people. Another notable south Indian village festival is Onam festival. This festival is celebrated in the honour of the King Mahabali, who once ruled Kerala.
Pongal festival is counted amongst the most famous and popular south Indian village festivals. This harvest festival is mainly celebrated in the villages of Tamil Nadu and it has three days duration. The three days of the festival have different names like Bhogi (first day), Pongal (second day) and Mattu Pongal (third day). The villagers wear new clothes and decorate their houses with beautiful motifs using rice flower during the Pongal festival. Pongal is actually the name of the sweet made of the first rice. Float festival is also an important south Indian village festival. The villagers embellish the icons of goddess Meenakshi and after taking her consort in a colourful procession, they float the icons in the tank of a raft decked with flowers and lamps.
One of the notable south Indian village festivals is the Karthigai Deepam festival. The Masimagam festival is a major village festival celebrated in the villages of union territory, Puducherry. The Veerampattinam and the Villianur Car Festival are the two other major festivals celebrated in Puducherry. Apart from these, the other major south Indian village festivals include the Aranmula Boat Race, Natyanjali Dance Festival, Kavadi Festival, etc.
The south Indian village festivals are well known for their music, classical dance and theatrical performances. The village festivals have an ethnic taste and colour of their own. The villagers perform many interesting rituals, grand processions, decorations and fireworks during the festivals that attract several tourists from all over the country. The village festivals play a major role to promote tourism in the region.