Type : Culture
Month : December Last Week (1st of January)
Location : Cochin (Fort Kochi) , Kerala
Cochin Celebration and Carnival is a merry making feast observed to welcome New year during the last week of December every year at Fort Kochi. The origin is traced to Portuguese New Year revelry here during the colonial days. The highlight of the carnival is the massive procession on the New Year’s Day. There are the sounds of Panchavadyam and music throughout the city. Embellished elephants lead the procession. Not just that, the entire Fort Kochi is decked in white festooned like a bride. There are many art forms along the carnival route which starts from the Veli Ground and concludes at the Parade Ground. Musicians, folk dancers and various artists gather here from across the country for the music, dance concerts and plays. Various contests such as cycling, swimming, tug of war, etc are also conducted during the days of the carnival. Cochin Carnival is a visual delight. People dressed in brightly colored clothes against the white paper buntings adorning the whole city is a sight to behold. This spectacular event is promoted by the district tourism promotion council and every year large number of tourists gathers here to watch the carnival. Cochin Celebration and Carnival is an event and I like events...
The origin of this colorful carnival dates back to the 16th century during the Portuguese rule in India. Cochin was the headquarters of the Portuguese in India. It was Portuguese who started this festival as a celebration to welcome the New Year. It is said that the Portuguese ruler’s New Year celebrations were marked with grand parties and fiestas. This tradition continued in the city and became part of the local culture. In the year 1984, the celebrations were bequeathed with the title of Cochin Carnival. When a person hear the name Cochin Carnival, the interesting fact that comes to his/her mind regarding this festival is about a merry making feast. Portugal is known for welcoming the New Year with magnificent firework while eating twelve raisins – one for each month of the New Year. Similarly, during Cochin Carnival there are fireworks in the midnight.
Today Cochin Carnival is a grand celebration of culture and tradition of both past and present. It is an amalgamation of different cultures found in the region like Portuguese, Dutch, Gujarati, Konkani, Malayalee, Andhra, Kannada, Tamil, Arab, Punjabi and Anglo Indian culture. The aim of the Cochin Carnival is to promote and maintain five principles namely peace, progress, environment, participation and adventure.
Kochi is a must visit during the ten days of the Cochin Carnival – nearly a perfect way to begin the New Year. The streets are crowded and everything around is decked up. If you want some respite from all the people, head to one of the quaint cafes or art galleries in Kochi.
The nearest airport Cochin International Airport 36 Kms connects with other major cities of India and the world by frequent flights.
The nearest railway head is Ernakulam Junction, 12 Kms and Ernakulam Town, 14 Km. From there one has to take the further journey.
The good motor able roads connect Cochin (Fort Kochi) with nearby towns. Regular bus services are available to Trivandrum 198 kms, Calicut 181 kms, Chennai 693 kms,and Bengaluru 548 kms.