Other Festivals

 

Oachira Kettukazhcha

 

Oachira has been famous for long as one of the sacred places in Kerala. Historically too, this place is very famous, for, it was on the plains of Oachira that the much famed battle in the history of Travancore, the battle of Kayamkulam was fought between Marthandavarma the Maharaja of Travancore and the Raja of Kayamkulam. In commemoration of this historic battle 'Oachirakkali' is conducted on the first and second of Midhunam (June-July) every year. The Oachirakkali was one of the factors that brought fame and glory to Oachira. On the first and second day of midhunam (June-July) the young and the old, drawn from the two karas lying east and west of Oachira, and forming themselves into two groups, reach the 'padanilam' and conduct the age-old fencing exercises under the leadership of the elder Kalari Asan. It is to perpetuate the memory of the great battle fought between Maharaja Marthandavarma and the Raja of Kayamkulam that the Oachirakali is held every year. A big cattle fair is also held as part of the festival.

 

Jain Festival at Palakkad

 

There is an ancient Jain temple at Jainimedu near Palakkad town. According to the legend, one Sutar, head of the Jains, built this temple 500 years ago for the Jain sage Chandranathaswamy.

 

Jewish Festival

 

Among the Jewish festivals, the Sabbath (Saturday) occupies the pride of place. The Sabbath gives the labourer every week a day of rest and leisure. Passover or the feast of unleavened bread is one commemorating the birth of Israel as a nation and deliverance of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery. It falls in April or May. Pentecost is another Jewish festival held in May-June. It has an agricultural and historical significance. The feast of Tabernacle is another pilgrim festival falling in either September or October. During this feast, Jews set temporary booths covered with palm leaves and decorated with citrus and other fruits. The Jewish New Year falls in September or October. It is not a time for revelry, but a solemn season for self-assessment and judgement in the life of the Jew. The Day of Atonement following the New Year is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. Not a morsel of food or a drop of water will pass the lips of the observant Jews from sunset of the previous day till after the nightfall of the next day. The Jews will be in the synagogue devoting themselves to fervent prayers. The Hannukka or the festival of lights is another popular celebration of the Jews.

 

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

 

The Nehru Trophy boat race in Alappuzha is held every year on the second Saturday of August and is marked by the competition of Snake-boats. There are also other category of boats that compete like the bean-shaped, kite-tailed, curly-headed and so on. The snake-boats, which are between 30 and 60 m long with tall, cone-shaped, tapering helms, which are more than a meter or two above the water level and accommodating 100 or more at the oars, the snake-boats plough the water with the rhythm of drums and cymbals and legendary songs, typical of Kerala. The snake-boats remind one of the sea-faring and martial traditions of ancient Kerala. The trophy was instituted by former Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was enthralled by the charm and gaiety of this water carnival.

 

Padayani at Nilamperoor

 

The annual Padayani Utsavam at the Bhagavathikkavu at Nilamperoor, a village in the Kuttanad taluk is a festival, which symbolises and reflects the tradition and culture of a typical Kerala village. The Padayani Utsavam is celebrated on a grand scale with kolam kettu (making of effigies) and kolam thullal (a kind of ritual dance performed by carrying the effigies). The chief kolams displayed are of Siva, Bhima, Ravana, elephants etc.

 

Vallarpadam Feast

 

Being an islet, Vallarpadam has access only by water. Held in great devotion 'Vallarpadath Amma' is believed to have miraculously saved her devotees several time from violent storms. The feast of Vallarpadath Amma is held every year on 24 September with much fanfare. The celebrations which last for more than a week is accompanied by an unusually big fair. The most important products and articles offered at this fair are country boats and cars, pots and straw mats. The last item finds an important market here as the festival falls in the harvest season.

 

 

 

Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala