The Cochin Carnival is a much-awaited event by local residents and out of town visitors. It is held in the last week of December and is a time for merrymaking and partying. Impromptu events like fancy dress competitions, beach volleyball and tug-o-war games are held in the streets and there is a general feeling of bonhomie that fills the air. The colour white prevails during this festival as you will see white paper buntings fling high over most establishments and streets.Indira Gandhi Boat Race is an Special event happens every year in the last week of December and is organised in the backwaters of Kochi. The snake boats are manned by about 125 oarsmen and they row in unison to the rhythm of the song sung by the singers who are also on board.
Celebrated to commemorate the legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi, the festival of Attachamayam is held on the eighth day of the Malayalam month of Chingam, which usually falls in August or September at the historical town of Tripunithura, near Kochi. A grand procession is taken out on this occasion,varieties of folk art forms, floats and other musical ensemble.
Some believe that this spectacular procession is to mark the beginning of the Onam Festival, the festival of peace and equity. However, ther are others who believe that the Maharaja of Kochi took the Athachamayam march from Tripunithura, once capital of the Cochin estate to the Vamana temple of Thrikkakara as a military adventure or at least to show off his royal splendor and glory. With the end of the era of kings and monarchs, this weeklong festival now attracts many tourists from India and abroad to Tripunithuta with its highlights being ancient and modern art forms such as folk dances, competitions and other entertainment programs.
Held annually in the last week of the year in Fort Kochi, this merry making feast is observed to welcome the New Year. Dating back to the times of Portuguese during the colonial days, it has evolved with time as a party time for the young hearts with its unique games, competitions and illumination. However, the highlight of the Carnival remains the huge procession on the New Year Day, complete with a caparisoned elephant leading it, drums and music.Starting since Solidarity Day on December 22, it is a ten-day long festival and is usually ended by a flag-off in dignified silence to pay tribute to the brave martyrs who died while fighting for their motherland. It was revived in 1984, and has now gained immense popularity and all the activities organized during the Carnival are centred around its five main slogans, namely, Participation, Peace, Progress, Adventure and Environment. Besides the adventure sports like Beach Bike Race and Sea Swimming, there are Beach Football, Beach Volleyball, Shuttle Badminton and Ball Badminton Tournaments are organized during the course of the festival.
Indira Gandhi Boat Race
The boat races of Kerala are very famous. Many boat races are organized throughout the year in the state of Kerala. Kuttanad and the upper Kuttanad area are just one of the most famous boat racing spots. Since most of the natives of Kerala are agriculturists and fishermen by profession, boat races help to unwind them and show off their graceful and muscular physique as they work with each other as a team to win the race. Both the oarsmen and boats are selected carefully irrespective of their caste, creed or classes, merely, on the basis of their performances.The rolling backwaters of Kochi are very invitiong and thus a grand gala is held here in the last week of December as a final touch to its spectacular Tourism Fair. Cheering crowds, zest and festivity abound when the sixteen majestic snake boats race neck to neck in gaiety, each vying for the coveted trophy of the race, which was instituted in memory of Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India.
It is believed that the Jews of Kerala migrated here in the 1st after the second temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 72 AD. The Jewish community settled mainly in and around Mattancherry, Kochi and brought with them the Jewish customs and festivals. The Passover Festival is celebrated annually to commemorate the liberation of Jews from Egyptian slavery followed by the Pentecost Festival and the feast of the Tabernacles.
Passover or Pesach festival is celebrated by the Jews in March or April as possibly sprung up as a Spring festival originally until it became related with the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Pentecost is usually celebrated on the fiftieth day of the Passover ans was originally an Old Testament festival related to agriculture and was celebrated in order to welcome the Spring. However, in the early New Testament period, it somehow became associated with the celebration of God's creation of His people and his gracious gift of the law on Mount Sinai.
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