Kerala is decked up for December


December 11 (TravelAndy): All roads lead to Kerala at this time of the year, what with the advent of the Theyyam season, the International Film Festival of Kerala, and a host of other festivities.

The 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala will see Thiruvananthapuram, the host city, turn into a film hub as filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from across the globe make a beeline for their favourite films. The festival, organised by the Kerala Staye Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, will continue through December 13, and screen 190 films.

Theyyam, an ancient dance form practised in the temples of Northern Kerala’s Malabar region, invokes the Gods through detailed and fearful makeup, costumes, masks, and physical movements. Art lovers from different parts of the world throng to Kerala every year to experience these spectacular performances believed to be have begun over eight centuries ago. The season usually lasts between October-November and May, depending on the Malayalam calendar. Thekkumbadu Koolom Thazhekkavu Bhagavathy Temple will host Theyyam performances from December 16 to 21, while dancers will perform at Muthuvadathu Kalari from December 25 to 26. Location for some of the January performances include Chirakutty Puthiyakavu (Vayalile Kottam) from January 1 to 8, 2019, Pariyaram Sree Udayapuram Temple from January 1 to 8, Chekkicheri Bhagavathy Devasthanam on January 8 and 9, and Kannom Sree Anjuthengil Aviar Paradevatha Temple from January 11 to 13.

December is also a good time to witness another aspect of Kerala. Christmas is celebrated everywhere — at homes, churches, clubs, and neighbourhoods. Cochin Carnival, a visual extravaganza of Fort Kochi that takes place during the last couple of weeks of December, celebrates the amalgamation of its Portuguese and British past. Burning of ‘Pappanji’, a 35-feet tall statue, on New Years’ Eve, adds to the dramatic effect of the festivities.

Kerala is known for its love for the arts. Nishagandhi Festival, that upholds dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak, Odissi, Chhau, among several others, will will be held at Thiruvananthapuram’s Nishagandhi Auditorium between January 20 and 26, 2019. Swathi Sangeetholsavam, or the Swathi Music Festival will see lovers of Carnatic and Hindustani music at Thiruvamamthapuram’s Kuthiramalika Palace from January 4 to 13.

Winners of the International Children’s Online Painting Competition 2018 will be awarded a five-night family trip to Kerala. Children from any part of the world can participate in the contest.


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