Utsavam is the cultural arts festival that is conducted in Kerala every year. This features art performances from established performers. Anybody who visits Kerala during this time is simply astonished at the 80 odd art forms that this cultural extravaganza offers. Festivals in Kerala are full of colour and are deep rooted in cultural heritage. The art festivals celebrated here are simple yet elegant in their own sweet way.

Arjunanritham-Dance of the Gods

This is a legendary dance form that is a huge hit today in southern most parts of Kerala like Kottayam and Alappuzha. The beauty of the various art festivals in Kerala is that each dance is specific to different castes. The Arjunanritham is believed to be mostly performed by Karuppanmar, Aasharimar and Ezhavar. Legend has it that this dance was performed by the Pandava King Arjuna himself after the Kurukshetra war to bring joy to the Bhadrakali Goddess.

Yakshaganam-Song of the Heavenly Bodies

This is the dance that is very famous around the areas of Kasaragod. This is a very expressive dance form where the performers don various roles, sing, dance and emote as they perform. The very look of the dancers can blow the tourists' breath away as the colours are striking and the costumes are exquisite in this dance.

Balikkala-The Ultimate Dance for Pregnant Women

This is an art form that is quite famous in the Malabar district. Legend has it that this dance is more related to black magic and witchcraft. Pregnant women who performed this dance were considered to be relieved of all the evil spirits that had possessed her.

Aravana Muttu-The Welcome Dance

This dance is traditionally performed by the Islam community in Kerala for welcoming chief guests at various functions. This is a combination of a song and dance form using the instrument called aravana which is shaped like a drum.

Kolkali-The Elegant Stick Dance

Kol means stick and Kali means dance. Therefore Kolkali means the beautiful performance of women who dance with the sticks. This is one of the oldest dance forms of Kerala and has a very rich tradition.

Theyyam-The Powerful Dance

This is a performance that has a very cultural background and the performers of this dance are considered to be the perfect middlemen between human beings and the divine power. Theyyam almost means “Deivam”, meaning God. As in the case of all other dance performances of Kerala, this too is very pleasant on the eye with the lovely colours, excellent make-up and a vibrant ambience that the performance exhibits.

These are only a few samples of the innumerable festivals that Kerala has in store. Most of these festivals are conducted annually and they are conducted during specific seasons. Therefore most of the tourists plan their trips in such a way so that it coincides with the cultural season of Kerala. It would only be apt to conclude that the art festivals in Kerala have a lot to offer the viewers in terms of diversity, colour, performance, procedures and many more departments.

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