Every single festival in South India has its unique origin and a long history associated with it. Well, these interesting things actually enhances the value of the festival and adds to its importance. Being secular or religious in nature, each and every South Indian Festival has a deep meaning which is often linked with the lessons of life and cheerfulness.
7 Grand Festivals Of South India
1. Thrissur Pooram Festival
God’s own country Kerala is the serene manifestation of nature’s marvel. Among the fringe beaches, enthralling backwaters and the undulating Western Ghats is the rich culture with immense historical grandiose. Pooram is a post-harvest festival unmatchable in its magnanimity and opulence. Officially unique in pageantry, magnitude and participation, this festival continues for 36 hours non-stop with spellbinding energy and magnificence. It is celebrated in the premises of Vadakumnathan temple. Believed to be a congregation of Gods and Goddesses in this temple, the elephants are caparisoned in the Malayalam month of Medom accompanied by grand ensembles of Chena Melam and Pancha Vadyam.
A harvest festival celebrated in the honour of Lord Indra observes the ritual of Bhogi Mantalu. A bonfire is made of cow dung cakes and wood into which useless household items are being thrown. The most important aspect of this Tamil festival is the traditional design of Kolam, which is on the second day. Cows are worshipped on the third day which is Mattu Pongal. Kaanum Pongal is the last day where women carry out a household ritual for brothers.
3. Thaipoosam Kavadi
This Tamil festival of Hindus is of faith, endurance, and penance. Lord Murugan, son of Shiva is worshipped at this auspicious occasion. It is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Singapore and South Africa among the Tamil diaspora. Kavadi Attam is the ceremonial sacrifice performed which emphasizes debt bondage. The Kavady prayer includes observation of penance for 10 days. Events of joy and extravaganza are in the air spectacle to millions of devotees.
4. Nehru Boat Trophy Race
This is conducted on Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. A grand event of enormous beauty gets international attention and viewership. Long canoes of 100-120 feet made of forest wood “Aanjili Thaadi” moves in serpentine motion through the channels of the lake. It carries around 90-100 rowers. Sardine oil is used for lubrication of vessels. For people in the village of Kuttanad, winning is a spectacular celebration.
5. Natiyanjali Dance Festival
Held in the Prakara of Chidambaram temple of Chidambaram city of Tamil Nadu, this festival is celebrated in the month of February and March. Dedicated to the cosmic dancer Nataraja, the festival begins on the most prominent day of Hindu calendar, Mahashivaratri. The dance composition consists of all classical forms Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Odissi, Chauu etc. The concept of this festival is Saivite philosophy and traditions. It is an exquisite Ananda Tandava is performed by around 300-400 dancers and maintained by the Natyanjali Trust.
6. Karthigai Deepam
This festival of lights typically belongs to South India. Vaishnavites in Tamil Nadu light fire using leaves of Maruda trees, stick named Kavattaik Kambu with cloth, saw dust and Konkani resin. Elephant shaped lamps are presented to daughters for their prosperity. This Tamil Diwali is full of lights, rangoli, delicacies, and crackers. Interestingly a huge light is lit at Thiruvannamalai hill to celebrate the demonstration of power by Lord Shiva to Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. The exhilarated crowd shout Anamallaikku Arogara and celebrate for 10 days.
The festival is celebrated as Kannada new year. It falls on Chaitra Shudha Paadyami. It is predominantly a new year for people between Vindhyas and Kaveri, covering the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Konkan. Special dishes are made in each state such as people of Maharashtra cook pulihora, bobbatalu, and pachadi; pouligare is prepared in Karnataka, Maharashtrians cook puran poli and Konkanis cook Kanangachi. It is a harvest festival celebrated sumptuously along with a large gathering and fanfare. The Hindu term for this festival in Maharashtra is Gudi Padwa.
It’s time to travel to South India to unravel the beauty of these awesome festivals. Witnessing it for real will definitely leave an ineffaceable imprint on your memory lane, awarding and meaning of life.
Featured Photo by carrotmadman6