The lush green landscape, the calm and serene backwaters of the Arabian Sea, colourful flowers, cultural bounty – if there is a time that God’s Own Country, Kerala, comes alive, it is during the festivals. While Thiruvananthapuram may be the state’s political and administrative capital, Cochin or Kochi is indeed the cultural capital of this breathtakingly beautiful state. The city decks up like an exotic beauty during the festive days; the experience of visiting Kochi at these times is indeed a heady one.
If you are looking forward to a relaxing trip to one of the resorts in Cochin or to a spa holiday at the LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal, plan your trip around these festive days –
Cochin Carnival (December-January)
The Cochin Carnival is one of the most awaited festivities held in this mesmerising city. The Kochi Fort is decked up in bright lights. The Carnival is held on the last 10 days of December leading up to the New Year. It is Kochi’s own way of keeping alive the Portuguese legacy and celebrating Christmas and New Year at the same time. The grand elephant procession, dance performances, races and competitions, and firework displays make this one of the best-loved festival of Kochi.
Easter, Resurrection Day, is indeed celebrated across the world. Kochi’s Christian populace is no exception. Churches across the city hold special services for the faithful and families get together to indulge in a hearty feast after the austerities of Lent.
Malayatoor Perunnal (March-April) – This festival, held at the Malayatoor Church brings Christians from across the state and even from other states to Cochin. It is held on the Sunday after Easter. The traditional prayers and festivities make it a beautiful experience.
Eid (June) – Kerala is unique in many ways. Its culture is equally influenced by Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity because about a third of the population subscribes to each of these religions. After the month-long Ramzan fast, the sighting of the Eid moon is celebrated with great joy. The city streets come alive with food stalls and families get together to celebrate Eid with each other.
Onam (August) – Onam is one of the major festivals of Kerala. Like the rest of the state, the Onam Sadya (festive meal) is quite often the highlight. Head to one of the best restaurants in Cochin to enjoy the gastronomic delights served on this special day.
Diwali (September-October) – Diwali is certainly the grandest festival celebrated in India. In Kochi, this festival takes on a more secular flavour as people from all religious backgrounds join in to burst crackers and decorate their homes with light arrangements.
Kochi-Muziris Biennale (December) – The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international arts festival held in Kochi around mid-end December. It attracts hundreds of art pieces by some of the best artists across the world.
Hanukkah (December) – Kochi is one of the cities in India with a significant Jewish population. The Paradesi Synagogue of Kochi is the oldest active synagogue in the entire Commonwealth of Nations. The Jews of the city celebrate Hanukkah in a significant way and welcome everyone to join the lighting of the Menorah.
Indira Gandhi Boat Race – While technically not a festival, the Indira Gandhi Boat Race is certainly one of the grandest events held in the calm backwaters of Kochi. Participants come from across the state to participate in the Indira Gandhi Boat Race and winning is a matter of pride for the teams involved. The race is cheered on by thousands who come here to witness this water sport.