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Fairs and Festivals of South India
South India is a home to numerous colourful festivals. The fairs and festivals of South India reflect the multicultural and multi religious society. Onam, Thrissur Pooram and Pongal are the major festivals of South India. The Onam festivals are celebrated during the harvesting time. The festivals of South India speak of India’s rich cultural and traditional background. The different colourful festivals of South India are an integral part of every Indian.
Onam: Onam is an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered around worshipping, music, dances, sports, boat races and good food.
Being a harvest festival, it is time to thank God for the bountiful yield and enjoy the bounty of nature after a year of hard labour. Elaborate procession of Trichur and spectacular snake boat races.
Like many other religious festivals in India, Onam is celebrated by people of all religions. Women dress up in new saris and heavy jewelry and make elaborate and intricate designs of 'rangolis' (with colored rice paste) and 'pookkalam' (with flowers) in front of their homes. The legendary king Mahabali is welcomed to his kingdom with all the reverence.
Thrissur Pooram: The Thrissur Pooram is one of the most spectacular festivals in the world. In terms of visual splendour, the grand assembly of caparisoned elephants, amazing pyrotechnic displays, spellbinding ensembles of percussion instruments and enthusiastic crowds, there is no match for it. One can’t find a festive gathering and celebration on such a scale anywhere else.
The name Thrissur is derived from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur", which literally translates to “The city of the Sacred Siva". In ancient days, Thrissur was known as Vrishabhadripuram as well as Kailasam (Mount Kailas, the abode of Lord Siva in South).
Thrissur is a city situated in the centre of Kerala state, India. It has a population of around 3.2 lakhs. It is an important cultural centre, and is known as the “cultural capital” of Kerala. It has a large number of well-known temples like Thiruvambadi temple, Vadakkunnathan temple and Paramekkavu temple, and two churches of note, the Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral and the Our Lady of Dolors “New Church” Basilica (the biggest in South Asia).
Pongal: Pongal is a highly revered festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu to mark the harvesting season. An important festival in India, Pongal is celebrated by offering prayers to the Sun God. Pongal gifts are exchanged among family members, relatives and friends. Houses are cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this festival. Held in the middle of January, it is a time when the people of Tamil Nadu get ready to thank God, Earth and their cattle for the wonderful harvest they have reaped. During the four-day pongal festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning. Apart from exchanging Pongal gifts, this festival also sees people exchanging lot of Pongal cards also.
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