For the lover of dance, drama and music, Kerala is heaven. You have scores of art forms, which are quite unique in nature to Kerala, Watch them and experience an endless and varied emotions to win your passion, love, kindness, compassion, mirth, joy, sorrow, grief, anger, wonder, horror, fear, valour, courage etc. And then relax with the thought, all the world is a stage.
A majority of the people of Kerala are Dravidians, who also inhibit most of the southern partArt of Kerala of India. Hinduism is the main religion with significant percentages of Muslims and Christians. Kerala is also known for Kathakali - a 300-year-old dance form developed exclusively in the state combining the performing art forms of opera, ballet, masque, and pantomime. The dance is a beautiful blending of color, dance, music, drama, and expressions. Other dance forms of Kerala are Krishnanattom, Mohiniyattom, Thullal, Koodiyattom, Kolkkali, Thiruvathirakali, Kakkarishi Natakom, Oppanna, and Chavittunatakom. Panchavadyam, Nadanpattu, Omanathinkal Kidavo and many more music forms have evolved over the centuries in Kerala.
Onam is a time for sports and festivities and in Kerala-where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes, and backwaters-the people take to their boats and country crafts to celebrate. Christmas is another festival that is celebrated with much vigor and enthusiasm in the state.
Kerala is known for its variety of pancakes and steamed rice cakes made from pounded rice. In seafood, mussels are a favourite. For the Christians, who can be seen in large concentration in areas like Kottayam and Pala, ishtew with appam is a must for every marriage reception. Kerala also has its own fermented beverages -the famous kallu (toddy) and patta charayam (arrack). Arrack is extremely intoxicating and is usually consumed with spicy pickles and boiled eggs (patta and mutta).
Kerala's genius for adaptation and fusion of old traditions and new values in every sphere of human thought and endeavour is also evident in its cuisine. Kerala has a distinctive cuisine, very unusual and different from the rest of India. Cooking in Kerala is all about discoveries, aromas and colors. It's a melting pot of different ingredients sprinkled by the various communities down the ages. During Kerala vacation, one can experiment with the myriad cuisine of Kerala, which are a gastronome's delight.
Thus, in its totality, the culture of Kerala represents the quintessence of the collective achievements of a people in the fields of religion and philosophy, language and literature, art and architecture, education and learning and economic and social organisation.
The Religions of Kerala
The cultural synthesis that took place in Kerala has made it adopt and accept different religious beliefs too. During the early times, the people followed the Dravidian way of life and the religious practices associated with it. They followed many primitive rites and practices. They worshipped local deities in addition to honouring trees and ancestors. Since there was no social stratification among them, their way of life was essentially founded on the principles of equality. It was during this time, that the influx of the Jains, Buddhists and the Aryans took place.
Some of the well known performing art forms of Kerala are: Kalaripayatt, Mohiniyattom, Chakyar Koothu, Theyyam, Ottam Thullal, Loodiyattom, Bharathanatyam, Chavittunadakam, Poorakkali, Theyattu.
Art & Culture of Kerala
Theyyam Theyyam also known as Kaliyattam, it is a ritual dance popular in north Kerala or the erstwhile Kolathunadu. Theyyam incorporates dance, mime and music and enshrines the rudiments of ancient tribal
Patayani Patayani is a week- long ritual dance, held in Kaali temples on the banks of the Pamba river during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Medam (March - April).
Poothanumthirayum This ritual offering to Goddess Kaali is performed in many places of South Malabar. A troupe of dancers dress up as Kaali (the Thira) and the accompanying spirits (the Poothams) who were created alo....
Paana Paana or Pallippaana, as it is sometimes called, is a ritual art to propitiate the goddess Bhadrakaali. The art form is popular in the districts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram.
Mudiyettu Mudiyettu is a ritual dance performed in some Kaali temples of Ernakulam and Kottayam districts (central Kerala). The dance celebrates the goddess's triumph over the demon Daarikan.
Koothu Koothu is a socio-religious art performed in the Koothambalam or the Koothuthara of temples, either independently or as part of Kootiyattam.
Kannyarkali Kannyarkali, also known as Desathukali, is a folk art exclusively practised by the Nair community of the Palakkad area.
Religions of Kerala
Arjuna nritham Arjuna nritham (the dance of Arjuna) is a ritual art performed by men and is prevalent in the Bhagavathy temples of Kerala. Arjuna, the most valiant of the five heroic brothers - the Pandavas
Tholppavakkoothu Tholppavakkoothu, literally meaning 'leather puppet play', is a ritual art performed during the annual festivals in the Kaali temples of Palakkad district.
Velakali This spectacular martial dance is performed by men in some of the temples of southern Kerala. The dancers, clad in the traditional clothes and colourful headgear of the medieval Nair soldiers.
Kalamezhuthu The kalam is a unique drawing also called dhulee chithram or powder drawing. The artist uses the floor as his canvas. Kalamezhuthu pattu is performed as part of the rituals to worship and propitiate.
Margomkali Margomkali is a ritual folk art of the Syrian Christians of Kottayam and Thrissur districts. A dozen dancers sing and dance around a lighted wick lamp ( Nilavilakku), clad in the simple traditional .
Kavadiyattom Kavadiyattam, a colourful ritual art, is a votive offering to Sree Subramanya. Basically of Tamil origin, Kavadiyattam is widely prevalent in the Subramanya temples all over Kerala during the festival
Theeyattu Theeyattu is a solo dance-drama performed in front of the Kalam or Dhooli Chitram (ritual drawing with coloured powders). It is enacted in some Bhagavathy temples of Thiruvalla, Kottayam.
Kummattikkali Kummattikkali is a mask dance popular in some of the northern districts of Kerala. The dancers, wearing painted wooden masks and sporting sprigs of leaves and grass, go dancing from house to house.