Cochin Carnival 2013 happens on the last week of December every year. Mostly the carnival is held during the last 10 days of the year and concludes with a big celebration marking the New Year. The venue of the carnival is Fort Kochi and the whole Kochi eagerly waits for it every year. Cochin Carnival is renowned for its public celebration, parades and parties giving wholesome entertainment to tourists from within the country and abroad. It attracts tourists and is a crowd-puller.
As usual, this year also Cochin Carnival was held from December 9th to 31st at Fort Kochi. The much acclaimed carnival rally will be held on January 1, 2013 and was the 29th edition of the Carnival.
History of Cochin Carnival
The Carnival got its origin in the 16th century, when the Portuguese ruled the region. At that time Cochin was the headquarters of Portuguese rule in India. Portuguese started the festival as part of the celebration to welcome the New Year. And it is said that the Portuguese ruler’s New Year celebrations were rich with grand fiestas and parties. This celebration continued and the city made it their own and it got imbibed as part of the local culture. And later by the year 1984 the celebration received the title of Cochin Carnival.
At present Cochin Carnival is a grand celebration of culture and tradition of both past and present. An amalgamation of different culture are in found in the place which includes Portuguese, Dutch, Guajarati, Konkani, Malayalee, Andhra, Kannada, Tamil, Arab, Punjabi and Anglo Indian culture. The prime aim of the Cochin Carnival is to promote and maintain five principles primarily of peace, progress, environment, participation and adventure.
Fort Kochi embellishes a festive look during this carnival. People numbering in hundreds flock at the venue clad in exotic colored attires to participate in this carnival of merry making and feasting and loads of entertainment. People have opportunity to participate in several games like KalamVara (floor drawing), tug-of-war, bicycle races, swimming in sea, beach volleyball which are also major attractions during the carnival celebrations. Adding more to the charm there are Art shows, food festivals, colorful rallies and fairs. All these festivities and revelries continue till midnight of December 31st. Finally at the concluding day of the 10 day festival, the entire city is clad in white with all buildings wearing white paper buntings. The white adornment signifies peace and tranquility. There are also many impromptu competitions and celebrations which are held on the streets and fireworks mark the finale. During the New Year’s Day, there is a procession consisting of caparisoned elephants, accompanied by drums and music, colorful flats, different folk art forms, Panchavadyam etc and this procession marks the end of the celebrations.