Church Festivals

Arthunkal Feast

St. Andrew's Forane Church at Arthunkal, one of the sacred churches in Kerala, attracts lakhs of devotees Christians and others, every year from all parts of Kerala. The feast of St. Sebastian is celebrated on a grand scale for eleven days in a year. There is also a minor feast on the 8th day of the principal feast. This is known as Ettam Perunnal. Of late, this feast also has attained as much importance as the principal feast.

 

Bharananganam Feast

Bharananganam, a small village town in Meenachil taluk of Kottayam district, has been famous for long as one of the hallowed places in Kerala. It is about 14 miles from the Ettumanoor railway station. Bharananganan has always been a refuge of the afflicted and the miserable as well as of the faithful. It is here that the famous St. Mary's Forane Church, one of the oldest churches in Kerala dedicated to the Holy Mother, stands, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all over the country. The important annual festivals of this church are the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, celebrated on the 9th of November, and the Feast of St. Sebastian on the 20th of January.

 

Edappally Perunal

Every year 'Forty-Hour Devotion' marks the commencement of Edappally Perunal. The festival begins on 23rd of April with solemn high mass and litany. The festival flag is hoisted ceremoniously on the 25th.

 

Edathua Festival

The St George's church at Edathua stands on the bank of the river Pampa, 16 miles southeast of Alappuzha. This church is famous for the feast of St George celebrated every year in the month of medam (April-May). It takes place from 27th April to 7th of May. Though the festival lasts for 11 days, only the last couple of days are marked by aspects of a major festival. Hence, 6th of May is reckoned as the feast day.

 

Kadamattom Feast

Mainly two feasts are celebrated in this church, one on the 24th and 25th of makaram (January-February) and the other on 23rd of medam (April-May). The former is the most important.

 

Kallooppara Perunal

St Mary's Church at Kallooppara stands in close proximity to the Kallooppara Bhagavathy temple. Inside the church, on its eastern and western wings, there are two granite slabs with some inscriptions in the Pali language. The Palli perunal and the foundation day of the Church are the two celebrations held on 15 January July 5 respectively.

 

Koratty Feast

About seven km to the south of Chalakudy, there is an ancient and beautiful village called Koratty. Here, there is an old catholic church built in honour of St Mary, which is locally known as 'Koratty Muthy's church'.The most important festival in this church is the Koratty Muthy's festival celebrated during the second week of October every year.

 

Malayattur Feast

The shrine of St Thomas at Malayattur, a village about six miles to the north of Kaladi in Ernakulam district is believed to be one of the ancient catholic shrines in the northern part of Kerala. The chief festival at the shrine is on the second Sunday, since the first moon, after the Vernal Equinox (March 21). The feast, therefore, falls usually in the month of April or at times in the last week of March. The Octave is celebrated on the following Sunday. The pilgrims have to climb a hill nearly 2000 feet high to reach this church.

 

Manjinikkara Church Festival

The Church and Dayara at Manjinikkara derives its importance from the holy tomb there. The sacred body of the late lgnatius Elise III, the holy patriarch of Antioch and all the East was interned there. Members of the Jacobite Syrian Church believe that the Holy Father was a saint. The church has now become one of the foremost places of pilgrimage.

 

Maramon Convention

Maramon and Kozhencherry, on the banks of the river Pampa, 16 km east of Thiruvalla, have for centuries been recognised as centres of Christian culture and influence. Maramon is also famous as the birthplace of Palakkunnathu Abraham Maplah, leader of the reformation in the Syrian Church of Malabar in the 19th century. This village, which developed into a town has the added distinction of being the venue of an annual religious gathering known as Maramon Convention, said to be the largest Christian gathering in Asia. The event is held during the month of February, on the vast sand-bed of river Pampa below the Kozhencherry Bridge. The Maramon Convention displays co-operation and union between different sections of church in Kerala. It fosters ecumenical outlook. It is also a source of spiritual inspiration and enlightenment for thousands.

 

Niranam Festival

Of all the places hallowed in the annals of Christianity in India, Niranam in Pathanamthitta district holds pride of place. In social, cultural, literary and political matters, this small village has kept up its own distinctive, pristine traditions. The fame of Niranam must have reached Syria and weighed most with St. Thomas. He is believed to have visited Niranam in 53 CE, erected a crucifix and built a church on the site. The main religious festival is in honour of the Holy Mother is on 15 August. Special mass is held on that day. The birthday of St Mary is celebrated on a grand scale on 8th September. The feast of St Thomas is celebrated on 3rd July.

 

Rakkuli Thirunal, Pala

Rakkuli Thirunal is the terminology in common parlance to denote the feast of Epiphany, celebrated every year on 6th January at the St. Thomas Cathedral Church at Pala. It is also an occasion of a vast fair where articles of different uses are exhibited for sale.

 

St. Dominic Syrian Church Feast, Aluva

The feast of St. Dominic church at Aluva falls on the third Sunday after the Easter. The statue of the saint is taken out in procession on that day. The feast of 'Our Lady of the Holy Rosary' also consists of a spectacular procession on the Sunday after the 8th of December.

 

Thumpoly Feast, Alappuzha

The parish of Thumpoly is renowned for its beautifully constructed church, called after St. Thomas, which is also dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast of our lady, which lasts for 11 days, concludes on the 8th of December.

 

Vettukad Festival

The most important feast celebrated in this church situated on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram is of Christ the King. This feast is observed for eleven days ending with the last Sunday of October. On the tenth day, after the vespers in the church, there is a procession which goes round the parish. On the final day, there will be a solemn high mass, sermon, eucharistic procession and benediction. The attendance for this feast is well over 50,000.

 

Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala