Kerala Traditions and Rituals

Kerala celebrates a host of major festivals that include religious,temple,social and community rituals and traditions.The flower carpet called Onapookkalam, worship of Thrikkakkara appan, the rhythmic shouts of joy in chorus called”Aarpu vili”, the “Pulikkali” and the mirthful songs associated with it, etc are some of the age old traditions and rituals associated with the grand ten day (harvest) Onam festival in Kerala.The “Vishukkai neettam” ritual during Vishu(Kerala New Year) festival wherein the elders offer gifts and cash to the younger members of the family is yet another important tradition practised in Kerala.

Among the Namboothiri or brahmin community of Kerala, the Somayaga traditions(sacred rituals performed by scholars) have been so well preserved and are practised in their pristine purity regularly during occasions. This yaga tradition which is a grand affair, has survived for nearly 3,000 years.

The music and dance performers of Kerala follow their own indigenous traditions and rituals,each different according to the cultural context within which the activity takes place.

Similarly, Kerala Syrian Christians who are often referred to by the traditional name Nasranis, have preserved some of the original rituals of the early Jewish Syrian Christians. One can easily find many Jewish Syrian rituals and traditions among the Nasranis of Kerala today.

The Muslims of Kerala too have their own unique customs and traditions which they diligently follow during their religious and wedding festivals.The famous oppana,mapillappattu,etc are some of them.

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