Kerala, in southwest India on the Arabian Sea coast, has a mixed population of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and people of other communities. Kerala's cultural calendar is full of events through the year as the secular people of kerala celebrate festivals and events of all religions.
Some of the events you can see in Kerala on your Indian holiday are:
Onam Festival: Celebrated in August-September every year, this festival celebrates the successful harvest and the return of King Mahabali, who comes to see the welfare of his people.Malayalis exchange gifts of new clothes, enjoy lavish traditional meals and decorate the entrance of their houses with beautiful flower carpets. Women dance around a lit lamp in the courtyard of their houses. Cultural programs of Kathakali and Mohiniattam classical dance are held and everyone celebrates the festival of Onam in Kerala.
Snake Boat Races: Held every year at Alappuzha, during the Onam festival, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, is held at the Punnamada Lake. Snake boats known as Chundanvalloms powered by teams of rowers compete against each other in an atmosphere of tremendous excitement. The boat races are a very popular tourist attraction.
Temple Festival Thrissur: This annual event held at the Vadakunnatha Temple in Thissur is known for its processions of elephants bearing the idols of the gods, covered with colorful parasols and accompanied by groups of drummers beating in rhythm. The sight of two rows of majestic elephants, decorated in traditional style with gold forehead ornaments and bearing the images of deities is truly an impressive sight.
Sabarimala Pilgrimage: This annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Lord Ayyappa (believed to be a union of Shiva and Vishnu) in the Sahyadri Mountains of the Western Ghats is a pilgrimage, which is undertaken by increasing numbers of pilgrims every year. On Janury 14 every year, which is the most important day of the pilgrimage, thousands of devotees travel to the shrine to see the makara vilakku - a light that glows on a neighboring hillside, which is believed to represent the presence of Ayyappa.
Christmas: Kerala has a significant Christian community, and the festival of Christmas is celebrated with joy and fervor, throughout Kerala. Masses are held in churches, choirs sing in schools and public halls, gifts are exchanged and all of Kerala wears a festive appearance on Christmas Day.
Id-ul-Fitr: All the Muslim festivals and holy days are celebrated in Kerala throughout the year. Id-ul-Fitr, which celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is celebrated with joy and feasting throughout Kerala.