Held annually in the last week of the year in Fort Kochi, this merry making feast is observed to welcome the New Year. Dating back to the times of Portuguese during the colonial days, it has evolved with time as a party time for the young hearts with its unique games, competitions and illumination. However, the highlight of the Carnival remains the huge procession on the New Year Day, complete with a caparisoned elephant leading it, drums and music, spectacular floats, myriad folk art forms, Panchavadyam and even North Indian dances.
Starting since Solidarity Day on December 22, it is a ten-day long
festival and is usually ended by a flag-off in dignified silence to pay
tribute to the brave martyrs who died while fighting for their
motherland. It was revived in 1984, and has now gained immense
popularity and all the activities organized during the Carnival are
centred around its five main slogans, namely, Participation, Peace,
Progress, Adventure and Environment. Besides the adventure sports like
Beach Bike Race and Sea Swimming, there are Beach Football, Beach
Volleyball, Shuttle Badminton and Ball Badminton Tournaments are
organized during the course of the festival.