Cochin Carnival: Year End Celebrations at its Best

Cochin Carnival: Year End Celebrations at its Best

India is a land of festivities where various cultures come together to give form to a vibrant atmosphere. Every significant occasion is celebrated in a different way in different parts of the country and that is what makes this country so colourful and vividly beautiful. With New Year and Christmas being round the corner, it’s time to immerse ourselves in another set of celebrations and like every other part of the country, Cochin too is getting ready for the most fun part of the year i.e. the Cochin Carnival. Planning a Kerala tour during this season is the best holiday present that you can give to your loved ones and we’ll tell you why!

Cochin Carnival

What is the Cochin Carnival all about?

Cochin Carnival is held every year in the last week of December at Fort Kochi in Kerala to celebrate the approaching New Year. The celebrations begin with the hoisting of a flag at the Vasco da Gama square. The tradition is a beautiful mix of our colonial roots and the present culture that the Keralites follow, which reflects in the various events that take place during the carnival. The celebration began during the Portuguese rule in Kerala when they celebrated New Year with the grand European-style fiestas and parties. Even when the colonial rule ended, the celebratory tradition continued and over the years local ethnic games like kabaddi, floor drawing, tug of war etc. became newer additions giving a regional touch to the partying.

Major components of the celebration

Fort Cochin is undoubtedly one of the most fun places to visit in Kerala during December because of the various fascinating activities that take place in the carnival. The highlight of the Cochin Carnival is the burning of a giant effigy of an old man known as Papanhi which symbolises the end of the year and the beginning of a prosperous New Year. The act is immensely popular and is carried out with a lot of zest. The events focus on the themes of Peace, Adventure, Environment, Participation, and Progress. Throughout the week, the place lights up and people enjoy a gala time. Various competitions like racing, boxing, kabaddi, tug of war, swimming, etc. are organized to keep the fun spirit alive. Apart from that, several stalls are installed at the Vasco de Gama street that sell lip-smacking food items along with artefacts, garments, artificial jewellery etc. that gives the vibe of a fun fair.

Things that shouldn’t be missed in the carnival

  1. The fancy dress parade where even visitors are also allowed to participate.
  2. A lively procession on the day of the New Year consisting of traditional dance, music, bejewelled elephants, and people dressed in vibrant costumes that begins at the Fort and ends at the beach.
  3. The Panchavadyam music where 5 different kinds of traditional musical instruments are played.
  4. Late night music concerts that light up the whole town.
  5.  Burning of the old man’s effigy at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Such a fun carnival will definitely give a wonderful start to 2020 so book a Kerala tour package now and enjoy the festivities. 


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Cochin Palakkad Wayanad and Athirappally Private Tour
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