The Colourful Spirit of South India
South India is a land which remains soaked in the colours of festivals throughout the year. Here the festivals are cocooned in colour, passion, enthusiasm, grace, cultural activities and rituals. The tourists participating in the festivals carry back home some treasured memories which remain etched in their minds forever. The people of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Pondicherry show great love for their festivals which is clearly visible in the celebrations.
Some of the famous festivals of South India are
The most famous festival of Tamilnadu is Pongal or Tamizhar Thirunaal. This four day long festival coincides with Lohri which is a festival celebrated in North India. Considered to be the most important day of the year, this festival celebrates the growth of good crops in the fields. All the four days are dedicated to the worship of heavenly deities, cattle and birds. First day is devoted to Lord Indran, the rain God, second day to the Sun God, third day to Cattle and fourth to birds. Bullock cart races and cock fights are the highlights of the festival. This festival is held in the month of January.
Natyanjali Dance Festival
The festival is dedicated to Lord Natraja, the Cosmic dancer.It is marked by dance and music activities.
Music and Dance Festival
Held in the Temples and performed by Devdasis, the festival is entirely dedicated to rich classical forms of dance touching the themes of Mythology, Philosophy and Spirituality.
This is the most celebrated festival of Kerala which stretches for 10 days. It is devoted to King Mahabali, a mythological king of Kerala. During the festival people offer prayers to the king. Fifth day of the festival is marked by snake boat race event which is very popular in Kerala.
Apart from this festival there are several temple festivals celebrated in Kerala. Some of the other festivals are Thiruvathira, Christmas, Vishnu and Thrissur Pooram.
Festivals of Pondicherry
Fire Walking Festival
Celebrated with great fervour, Fire Walking Festival of Pondicherry entails a fast of 40 days by the participants who perform the rituals of the festival.They walk bare-foot on fire on the main day of the festival and the most astonishing thing is that they walk the fire without causing any harm to their feet. May be this is connected with their unflinching faith in the divine force. Other festivals aof the Union territory are the Mangani Festival of Karaikal Ammayur temple, Sedal festival, St. Theresa festival. Yoga festival held in January and French Food Festival in August attracts a lot of tourists.
Festivals of Karnataka
Hampi Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm which clearly reflects in the dance and music performance held during the festival. It is celebrated in the first week of November. Other important festivals are Pattadakkal Dance Festival, Makar Sankranti, Hoysala Mahotsav and Ganesh Chaturthi.