40 Beautiful Malayalam Words For Cultural Festivals!


Kerala is known for its beautiful and rich cultural festivals. This includes the widely celebrated Onam festival. Learning about Malayalam words for cultural festivals is not only essential to appreciate the festivals themselves but also to kickstart your Malayalam learning journey!

In this article, we will talk about the most popular festivals in Kerala, where the festive spirit of Keralan people is wide awake. There’s more—we will also tackle the significance of each festival, as well as the words associated with them. Let us begin this Malayalam language journey, filled with rich cultural heritage!

Overview Of Malayalam Cultural Festivals

Understanding the major festivals that take place in Malayalam-speaking regions in India is the first step to appreciating them and their cultural significance. Below is an overview of the prominent festivals in Kerala and when they take place in a year.

1. Gramam Festival: This festival offers a glimpse into Kerala’s rich cultural heritage with fortune-tellers, craftsmen, and historical displays. This unique celebration occurs in mid-January and features stands selling handcrafted articles.

2. Onam Festival: Onam is Kerala’s most popular festival, celebrating the annual visit of King Mahabali. This ten-day extravaganza in August-September showcases Kerala’s art, music, and literature.

3. Makara Jyothi Festival: It involves worshiping Lord Ayyappa and signifies the conclusion of the Sabarimala pilgrimage that starts in November. This festival holds great cultural and religious significance in Kerala.

4. Thrissur Pooram Festival: Thrissur Pooram is Kerala’s grandest temple festival, featuring caparisoned elephants, divine processions, and lively music. It lasts 36 hours and occurs in April-May, showcasing Kerala’s rich traditions.

5. Theyyam Festival: Theyyam is a ceremonial dance in North Kerala, blending dance, mime, and music to honor heroes and ancestral spirits, held annually from December to April.

6. Vishu Festival: The start of the Zodiac New Year is celebrated in April-May. It is believed that the first sight upon waking on Vishu morning predicts the year ahead.

7. Attukal Pongala Festival: Attukal Pongala, celebrated at Kerala’s Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, is a 10-day festival that begins in February-March. Don’t miss this blend of culture, stories, and vibrant rituals!

8. Thiruvathira Festival: The Thiruvathira Festival is a week-long celebration dedicated to honoring Lord Shiva, who defeated Kamadeva, the God of Love. This cultural event is in December-January, on the full-moon night of the Tamil month of Margazhi.

Malayalam Words For Cultural Festivals


Gramam Festival

Gramam Festival is an annual event in a Kerala village, recreating traditional rural life with Nalukettu houses and local tearooms, showcasing fortune-tellers, craftsmen, and historical displays. Below are the words associated with the Gramam festival.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Dance Performancesനൃത്തപ്രകടനങ്ങൾNritha Prakatanangal
Traditional Musicപരമ്പരാഗീതംParamparageetham
Folk Art Displaysനാടൻ കലാ പ്രദർശനങ്ങൾNaadan Kalaa Pradarshanangal
Craft Exhibitionsകരകൗശല പ്രദർശനങ്ങൾKarakaushala Pradarshanangal
Cultural Workshopsസാംസ്കാരിക ശിൽപശാലകൾSaamskarika Shilpashaalakal

Onam Festival

Onam, the harvest festival, is one of the most famous festivities (in fact, it’s a national festival!). It features beautifully designed Pookalam (floral art), a delicious Onasadya feast, a thrilling famous boat race, and the lively Kaikottikali dance, making it a culturally significant and vibrant festival in Kerala. Below are the words to know that will get your Onam festival enjoyment going!

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Floral Arrangementപൂക്കളം അലങ്കരണംPookkalam Alankaranam
Traditional Feastഓണസദ്യOnasadya
Clapping of Hands (Kaikottikali)കൈകൊട്ടിക്കളിKaikottikali
Snake Boat Racesവള്ളംകളിVallamkali
Traditional Gamesപരമ്പരാഗേമുകൾParamparagemukal

Makara Jyothi Festival

Makara Jyothi is an annual festival celebrated with enthusiasm in Kerala at the Sabarimala temple. Filled with worship of Lord Ayyappa, it marks the end of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. The words that relate to the festival are listed below.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Temple Worshipക്ഷേത്രാരാധനKshethraaraadhana
Offering Prayersപ്രാർത്ഥനകൾPrarthanakal
Traditional Ritualsപരമ്പരാഗീതങ്ങൾParamparageethangal
Lighting Lampsലൈറ്റിംഗ് ലാമ്പുകൾLitting Laambukal

Thrissur Pooram Festival

Kerala’s grandest of temple festivals, Thrissur Pooram, showcases caparisoned elephants, divine processions, and lively music. What we can see next are the words associated with the festival.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Elephant Processionsആന ഘോഷയാത്രകൾAana Ghoshayaathrakal
Traditional Musicപരമ്പരാഗീതംParamparageetham
Fireworks Displayകരിമരുന്നുപ്രയോഗംKarimarunnuprayedhagam
Drum Performancesചെണ്ടമേളംChenda Melam
Decorated Umbrellasപരമ്പരാസാജിയായ ഉമ്ബ്രളകൾParamparasajiya Umbrellas

Theyyam Festival

Theyyam festival features over 400 unique performances, each with elaborate headdresses and ornaments. Here are some of the words to get you going to the festivities.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Ritualistic DanceപൂജകളിPoojakali
Elaborate Costumesവിപുലമായ വസ്ത്രങ്ങൾVipulamaaya Vasthrangal
Invocation of Godsദൈവങ്ങളുടെ വിളിDaivangalude Vili
Traditional Musicപരമ്പരാഗീതംParamparageetham
Artistic Body Paintകലാപരമായ ബോഡി പെയിന്റ്Kalaaparamaaya Bodi Paat

Vishu Festival

Vishu is a festival in Kerala that marks the start of the Zodiac New Year, when the sun enters Sidereal Aries, and is known for its special meal with a mix of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. The words that are related to the Vishu festival are listed below.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Vishukkani Arrangementവിഷുക്കണി അനുമോദനംVishukkani Anumodanam
Special Meals (Sadya)വിശുസദ്യVishusadya
Floral Decorationsപൂക്കളം അലങ്കരണംPookkalam Alankaranam
Traditional Ritualsപരമ്പരാഗത ആചാരങ്ങൾParambaraagatha Aachaarangal

Attukal Pongala Festival

The Attukal Pongala festival features captivating storytelling and colorful processions, symbolizing the victory of Good over Evil. Here are the words associated with the festival.

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Lighting Lampsവിളക്കുകൾ പ്രജ്വലിപ്പിക്കുകVilakukal Prajwalippikuka
Offering Prayersപ്രാർത്ഥനകൾ അര്‍പ്പിക്കുകPrarthanakal Arppikkuka
Cooking Ritualവിളക്കുകൾ പ്രജ്വലിപ്പിക്കുകVilakukal Prajwalippikuka
Floral Offeringsപൂമൂലം അര്‍പ്പിക്കുകPoomoolam Arppikkuka
Temple Processionക്ഷേത്ര പ്രദർശനംKshetra Pradarshanam

Thiruvathira Festival

Women play a central role in the festivities, waking up early to worship Lord Shiva with flowers and fruits. They also participate in folk dances and perform Thiruvathira songs during this festival. Here are the words to get your Thiruvathira festival going!

English TranslationMalayalamPronunciation
Worship of Lord Shivaദേവൻ പൂജിക്കുന്നുDevar Poojikkunnu
Folk Dancesപൗരാണിക നൃത്തങ്ങൾPauranika Nrithangal
Devotional Songsഭക്തിഗാനങ്ങൾBhakti Gaanangal
Offering Flowersപൂക്കൾ അര്‍പ്പിക്കുകPookal Arppikkuka
Garland Makingമാലകൾ തൈക്കുന്നുMaalagal Thaikkunnu

Learn Malayalam With Ling

If your goal is to study more about the Keralan culture, learning its language is a must! This will not only make your learning more convenient, but it will allow for a more in-depth understanding of its customs, people, and traditions.

In fact, the Ling app has got you covered with the resources you need to learn Malayalam! Want to learn about sentence structure in Malayalam? Ling has got your back! You can also continue studying the language by downloading the Ling App on the Play Store or App Store. You can access Ling’s engaging and gamified content whenever and wherever you are. Give it a try today and begin your Malayalam journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.