Thiruvananthapuram has many colourful festivals. A prominent few are described below:
Onam season is colourfully celebrated as a state festival. During this season, the city is illuminated and many colourful cultural programmes are organized, culminating in a grand pageantry.
Aratt at Sri Padmanabha Swami temple
At the famous Sri Padmanabha Swami temple, two festivals, Painguni (March-April) and Alpasi (October – November), are celebrated. On the last day of both the Alpasi festival and Painguni festival, the deity is taken in procession along a 5 km route to the beach for a holy dip in the sea. This is known as the famous “Aratt” of Thiruvananthapuram.
Chandanakkudam at Beema Palli
The Chandanakkudam at Beema Palli near Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the most colourful Muslim festivals. This festival has a duration of ten days. This ‘Mahotsavam’ is said to be the death anniversary of Beema Beevi, a devote lady pilgrim who came to Kerala from Mecca and settled down at this place with her son Mahin Abubacker Ollyulla. The Chandanakkudam Mahotsavam at Vizhinjam also attracts large number of pilgrims.
Christuraja Perunnal at Vettucaud
Among the important festival of Christians, mention has to be made of the ‘Christuraja Perunnal’ commemorated in the Madre-de-dieu church at Vettucaud, near Veli. This is celebrated during the first half of November every year.
Millions of pilgrims, clad in yellow clothes, visit Varkala (Sivagiri), a spiritual centre associated with Sree Narayana Guru.
The Kaalioottu in the Bhagavathy temple at Sarkara, near Chirayinkeezh, the Ponkala in the Bhagavathy temple at Attukal in the city and the Navarathri festival at the Poojamandapam near Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple are also important religious festivals in the district.