God’s own country is known for its rich mileu of art, culture, tradition and heritage that form part of the varied fairs and festivals which are celebrated by the cross section of communities in the State. Here is a list of the several social and religious festivals: Onam Onam is the most important and popular festival of Kerala. Onam is celebrated with a lot of fervour and gaiety. All malayalees, irrespective of their religion, celebrate Onam in spite of it being a Hindu festival. It falls in the malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Sept). Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. According to legend, Onam is celebrated to commemorate the homecoming of Mahabali, the king who ruled over Kerala in the age of plenty and was pushed down to the Patala by Lord Vishnu in the form of a young lad named Vamana. Vishu One of the important festivals of Kerala, Vishu is celebrated in the month of April, usually on the 14th every year. As per the traditional Malayalam calendar, it is the first day of the New Year. The main event of the Vishu celebration is the ‘Kani-kanal’. Coconuts, fruits, cereals and Konna flowers are placed in wide brass bowls to prepare the Kani. The elders in the family give money to the young ones and bless them. According to a local belief, if we owe you Kani, good luck will stay with you till the year end. Christmas Christmas is a major socio-religious festival in Kerala. Christians all over Kerala celebrate Christmas on 25, Dec. During Christmas eve and on the following day, holy mass is conducted in all the churches of Kerala. Singing of Christmas carols, setting up of Christmas tree, exchange of cards, gifts etc form an integral part of Christmas festivities in Kerala. Easter Easter is yet another festival of religious importance among the Christians in Kerala, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day following his crucifixion. During the celebrations, the community visit the church for midnight mass and prayers. Easter generally falls in the month of March-April. Bakrid Bakrid is a major festival among the Muslim community in Kerala commemorating the sacrifice of Ibrahim in obedience to God’s command. Muslims enjoy family reunions with relatives and friends and partake hearty feasts on Bakrid day. Id-ul-Fitr Idul-Fitr or Eid is celebrated after the conclusion of the Ramzan fast when Muslims give up all kinds of food and drink during the day and spend a major part of the night in prayer. Since Kerala houses a substantial population of Muslims, Eid is an important social and religious celebration in the state. Navaratri The Navaratri festival assumes religious significance among the Hindus of Kerala. Navaratri runs over nine days, the last three days being the most important. They are Durgashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadasami respectively. On the night of Durgashtami, a ceremony known as ‘Poojavayppu’ is held. It involves decorating a room superbly, with illuminating lights, flower pots and idols neatly arranged over a multi-tiered platform raised at the centre of the hall. Musical and percussion instruments and other learning tools are also displayed at the venue. Lamps are lit and prayers are offered on all the three days, and all sorts of learning and transactions come to a standstill until the last day of Saraswathy Puja when the formal ritual of learning begins anew.