Cochin Carnival 2019 – The New Year Celebration in Kerala

This carnival is the biggest celebration of Fort Cochin. This ten-day celebration ends on New Year’s Eve. It is famous for its colorful costumes, street parades, decorated elephants, music, dance and much more. Why is it more fun to visit a destination during a celebration? You can find all the hidden delights out in the light.

If you are willing to enjoy your vacation in a merry making style, Cochin carnival is the right time to visit Kerala. Do not worry about the floods. Kerala all set for tourism. Read here : Kerala Is Ready For Tourism Season after the Floods and Is Better Than Before

History of Cochin Carnival

This carnival is very much linked with Portuguese custom. During the colonial years, Portuguese took their New Year celebrations to the state and it eventually turned into the Cochin Carnival. Portuguese ruled the region during 16th and 17th century and Fort Kochi was their capital. Thus, it became the main ground for their celebrations. The European style of merry making, partying and celebration is continued until date.

At the strike of mid-night on New Year’s Eve, an effigy of an old man is burnt. It resembles the end of the old year and birth of New Year. The carnival took its way into the culture, 33 years ago. In 1984, the first old man effigy was burnt in the beach. It is not something new to the world or even to India. It is tradition among people to burnt effigies of figures who are evil. In India, during Dusherra, effigy of Raavan is burnt. The carnival begins by appreciating the Portuguese culture, by hoisting a flag on the Vasco Da Gama square.

The Cochin Carnival
Burning Effigy of an Old Man

Also Read : Best Places To Celebrate Christmas in India

How Cochin Carnival is Celebrated?

The main pillars of this carnival is participation, adventure, progress, peace and environment. Celebrations starts on 25th of December and on the New Year’s Day. The carnival is celebrated in Fort Kochi. It is a combination of Christmas and New Year celebration. The carnival starts with the hoisting of Carnival Flag, on the Vasco Da Gama Square. The aim of the celebration is to decorate and celebrate Kerala as a bride. You can find decorations everywhere in the country. Fairs, games, sports, art displays and many other celebrations are conducted to create a fiesta.

Kochi Carnival

If you are looking to cover this carnival, choose our exclusive tour packages,

Also Read : 20 Best Places to Visit in New Year in India

Things to do in Cochin Carnival

1. Enjoy numerous competitions like beach volleyball, swimming, tug of war, kayaking, cycle race, wrestling, boxing and others.

Cochin Carnival Competition

2. People of all ages take part in the fancy costume parade. Tourists are more than welcome to be a part of this celebration.

Fancy Costume Parade, Cochin

3. On the New Year’s Day, a large procession takes place with Chenda Melam, traditional dance and music, from Fort Kochi and ends in the beach, by late night.

Chenda Melam Cochin Carnival

4. Visit Veli ground, to watch the largest Christmas tree of the town. It is actually a banyan tree, lit up with lights.

Christmas Tree at Velli Ground

5. If you are up for shopping, visit Vasco Da Gama Square and streets around it. Top items to buy are artifacts, garments, artificial jewels and others.

Cochin Shopping

6. Enjoy the Panchavadyam music; it is a harmonious blend of music from five different instruments.

Panchvadyam Music at Cochin Carnival

7. Keep your late nights free for musical concerts.

Cochin Carnival Music Concerts

8. This is the best time to enjoy numerous delicacies. You can find restaurants of varying budget level around the fort.

Also Read : Top Tourist Attractions in Cochin

How to Reach Cochin

The nearest airport to Fort Kochi is the Cochin International Airport. It is located in Nedumbassery, which is around 37 km away from Fort Kochi. It is an international airport covering important tourist destinations around the globe with Kerala. From the airport, you can find many road transportation to reach the fort, directly.

If you are choosing train, the nearest train junction is at Ernakulum, which is 12 km away from the fort. From the station, you can find numerous cabs, autos and buses to reach the fort, directly.

Ferry services are available from Ernakulam jetty to the Fort. You can also find buses, cabs, autos and many other road services to reach the fort, from any part of the state.

Complete Info : How to Reach Cochin

Are you visiting in December? Read Top Fairs and Festivals in India in December to learn about more festival and fairs to cover. With Travelogy India, you can create your own itinerary too.

Also Read : Top 12 Things to do in Kochi

Best Tour Packages Covering Cochin

Major Fairs and Festivals in India

2 comments

  • Toby,Lio

    Dear sirs;

    This is Toby,Liao from China, this is my first time to go to India for traveling in Dec. 2019.

    Would you please let me know more detail information regarding Cochin carnival 2019-2020, like place, time, events, etc. Meanwhile, I was told from hotel that the carnival begins from Jan.1st 2020, would you please let me know if it’s true?

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you

    • Cochin Carnival is the New Year celebration for the Keralites and the celebrations begins from 25th December to 1st of Jan every year. The main celebration held at the Fort Kochi where the statue of the old man is burnt at zero hour on the 31st of December. It is a tradition among people to burnt effigies of figures who are evil and also it resembles the end of the old year and birth of New Year.

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