Onam is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Kerala, especially in Thiruvananthampuram and it commemorates the legendary rule of King Mahabali, during which tune the people were so happy that it aroused the jealously of the gods.
The 'Vetta' and 'arattu' processions are held twice a year from the Padmanabhaswamy temple to shanghumugham beach, led by the members of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore. The idols from from the temple are subjected to ritual purification in the sea. Cultural performances, including Kathakali, are staged during the occasion.
The ten day Pongala festival held at Attukal Bhagavathy temple, 2km from Thiruvananthampuram, attracts thousands of female devotees from many parts of the country. Men are not allowed in the vicinity of the temple during the Pongala. Pongal is a kind of sweet porridge, considered to the goddess' favourite offering. I is cooked by each devotee in a clay pot on an open fire and the long line of women making the retiual offering extends up to East Fort and beyond.
This colorful Islamic festival is celebrated to commerorate Bee Umma, a saintly lady, whose tomb is in Beemapally near Thiruvananthapuram. Devotees bring money in pots decorated with flowers, incense sticks and sandlwood paste, as an offering during the festival.
Nishagandhi Dance Festival (21-27 February):
This week long festival of Indian classical dances is held at the Nishagandhi open air theatre, Kanakakunnu Palace grounds, Thiruvananthapuram.
Gramam ( the Kerala village fair), Kovalam (14-23 January):
An entire Kerala village is recreated on the beach, during this ten day long festival. The traditional nalukettu (the quadrangular upper class house with a central open courtyard) and its premises become the venue of the fair, where the culture, arts and crafts of Kerala come alive.
Falvour Food Festival (5-11 April):
Renowned hotels from across Kerala participate in this week long international festival of the various cuisines of the world held at the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds, Thiruvananthapuram.