Posted 13 June 2022
Kannur is a beautiful coastal city in the Kannur district of the south Indian state of Kerala. Owing to its lovely natural location between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats, the city is also known as the ‘Crown of Kerala’. With its gorgeous beaches, beautiful forts, lovely picnic spots, historical monuments and ancient temples, Kannur has everything an incredible tourist destination should have. Apart from this, the city is home to people from various cultural and religious backgrounds. Also, its culture is significantly influenced by the former Dutch, British and Portuguese colonial powers. Being a melting pot of different cultures, Kannur witnesses a plethora of vibrant festivals and events all through the year.
So, to fully explore and enjoy Kerala’s rich culture and traditions. Here is a list of festivals celebrated in Kannur.
Onam is a popular Hindu festival celebrated with much vigour and fervour all across Kerala. It is also counted amongst the most popular festivals in Kannur. The festival is celebrated in the month of Chingam on the Malayalam solar calendar. It marks the end of monsoon and the arrival of the harvest season. As per the legends, Onam is celebrated to honour King Mahabali, whose spirit is believed to visit Kerala during the festivities. It is believed that during the Onam celebrations, Asura King Mahabali visits the homes of all the Malayali people to bless them and check on their well-being.
The celebrations include numerous rituals and activities, such as -
The festival marks the Malayalam New Year and stretches over 10 days, starting on Atham day and ending on Thiruvonam day. Even though the festival holds immense significance for the Hindus, the people of all religions enjoy the festivities wholeheartedly. Besides the numerous Hindu rituals that take place during Onam, the Christian community of Kannur celebrates this annual festival with great enthusiasm as well. Their rituals include the lighting of Nilavilakku followed by aarti and waving of colourful flowers over the Bible. Throngs of married women clad in traditional Kasavu sarees can be seen enjoying the celebrations.
People of all faiths and beliefs feast together.
Tripunithura Athachamayam, lively street parades, is the major attraction of the festival. The processions include beautifully adorned elephants accompanied by dancers, musicians and carnival floats. Pookalam is another major ritual where people decorate the front doors of their homes and temples with intricate floral decorations and arrangements. Onasadya, a nine-course meal consisting of 11-13 traditional delicacies served on banana leaves, is the highlight of Onam celebrations.
Also known as Kottiyoor Ulsavam, Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam is a 28-day-long annual festival held in Kottiyoor, an idyllic village situated in Kannur’s eastern hilly area. It is one of the most famous festivals of Kannur. The festival takes place from the Swati Nakshatra of the Hindu month of Vaisakha to the Chitra Nakshatra of Jyaistha month. It is hosted by two temples, Ikkare Kottiyoor and Akkare Kottiyoor, located along the opposite banks of the River Bavali. Both these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Ikkare Kottiyoor temple was created by Parashurama, while the Akkara Kottiyoor temple is naturally formed. All the rituals and ceremonies take place at Akkare Kottiyoor, which opens only during the festival.
Trichambaram Temple is a magnificent religious centre devoted to Lord Krishna situated in Taliparamba in Kerala’s Kannur district. It is believed that the temple got its name from the Holy Thiru Shambara in honour of Maharishi Shambara who meditated here. The annual Trichambaram Temple festival called Trichambaram Utsavam is a very vibrant and colourful event. The festival is another one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Kannur. It is a fortnight-long festival that begins on Kumbham 22 (6th March) every year and ends on Meenam 6 (20th March) as per the Malayalam calendar.
Pongal is an important harvest festival celebrated with much enthusiasm and gaiety in Kannur and the rest of South India. It is a series of celebrations, including Bhogi Pongal, Mattu Pongal, Kaanum Pongal and Surya Pongal, all rolled into one grand affair. The festival is another major name on the list of festivals celebrated in Kannur.
So, these are some of the most famous festivals of Kannur you must attend to witness the city’s rich cultural heritage.
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