Festivals in Varkala

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Varkala Festivals have captivated locals and tourists alike for centuries. This spiritual filled beach front get-a- way is known as equally among beach lovers as it is among spiritualists and religious buffs. The mysterious land whispers of ancient secret wisdom and spiritual intrigue around each corner. This helps to add a little something extra to Varkala’s yearly festivals.

Onam

This is the most famous festival in the area, it is a harvest festival celebrated between August and September of each year during the Malayalam month of Chingam. This festival is held to celebrate the return of the former King Mahabali who is said to have been pushed into Patala by Vishnu in the form of Vamana.

The celebration is illustrated with the intricate patterns that children make out of flowers on the front area of their home. Families get together on this day and have great feasts in their home. It is a great time to spend with family and loved ones.

Vallamkali

This festival is held in August with a boar race. Though the festival has great religious significance involving an idol of Sri Krishna, the biggest highlight of the festival for the non religious are the fun boat races that occur to mark the occasion.

Narathri

Narathri is a popular area religious festival translating literally to “9 nights”. This is a celebration of the nine nymphs of Navagaha Naayagi. In honor of the nymphs this is the day that children who will soon begin school draw their first letter in rice with their finger. This is a symbol to honor the goddess of wisdom Saraswathy.

Chandankudam at Beempally

This is the most colorful Muslim festival in the area, though it is far from the only one. It is a celebration in honor of the anniversary of the death of Pilgrim Beema Beeevi who traveled to the area from Mecca before dying. It begins at the start of October and lasts ten full days.

A multitude of Muslim pilgrims visit the local mosque during this holiday and walk in procession around the hallowed tomb of Beeevi with sandalwood smeared clay pots. These pots are later filled with a monetary offering in honor of the spirit of the departed Beema Beeevi.

Festivals in the Varkala area are common and quite varied in religious preference. There are religious festivals for every major religion in the area including the Hindus, the Christians, the Muslims, and many other groups. Some festivals like the Onam are more deeply personal and homely, but others like the Vallamkali are fun for even outsiders to view. 

Contributors
April 13, 2010 new by bipashabhatia

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