Kochi: Discover Local Customs & Festivals

Kochi: Discover Local Customs & Festivals

Kochi: Discover Local Customs & Festivals

Welcome to Kochi, a vibrant city in the southern state of Kerala, India. Known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, Kochi offers a delightful blend of tradition and modernity. Immerse yourself in the local customs and festivals to truly experience the essence of this enchanting city.

Local Customs

Kochi is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population, influenced by various cultural and religious communities. As a visitor, it is important to respect and observe the local customs. Here are a few customs to keep in mind:

  1. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and local communities, especially temples and mosques.
  2. Remove your shoes before entering someone's home or a temple.
  3. Greet the locals with a smile and a friendly "Namaste" or "Vanakkam" (traditional greetings in Hindi and Malayalam).
  4. Always ask for permission before taking photographs of people, especially in rural areas.
  5. Try to learn a few basic phrases in the local language to show respect and make your interactions more enjoyable.

Major Festivals

Kochi is renowned for its vibrant festival celebrations, which showcase the city's cultural diversity. Here are some of the major festivals you can experience:


Onam, the most important festival in Kerala, is celebrated with utmost fervor in Kochi. It marks the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali and involves elaborate feasts, traditional dances like the Thiruvathira and Pulikali, boat races, and flower arrangements known as pookalams.

Navaratri, a nine-night Hindu festival dedicated to the goddess Durga, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Kochi. The city comes alive with colorful processions, dance performances, and music concerts. Be sure to witness the energetic Garba dance, where people dance in traditional attire.


Kochi has a significant Christian population, and Christmas is celebrated with grandeur and religious fervor. The city is adorned with twinkling lights, beautifully decorated churches, and melodious carol singing. Attend Midnight Mass and explore the festive markets for a memorable Christmas experience.


Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, is celebrated by the Muslim community in Kochi. Experience the sights and sounds of this joyous occasion by visiting local mosques and partaking in the feasts and prayers. Don't forget to try the delicious traditional sweets like sheer kurma.

Local Cuisine

No visit to Kochi is complete without indulging in its delectable cuisine. Influenced by various cultures, the local food scene offers a wide range of flavors. Some must-try dishes include:

  • Appam and Stew: A popular breakfast dish consisting of fluffy rice pancakes served with a fragrant coconut milk-based stew.
  • Malabar Biriyani: A flavorful rice dish cooked with aromatic spices, tender meat, and fragrant saffron.
  • Kerala Parotta with Chicken Curry: Soft, layered flatbread served with spicy and aromatic chicken curry.
  • Kerala Fish Curry: A tangy and spicy curry made with fresh fish, tamarind, and coconut milk.
  • Payasam: A traditional Kerala dessert made with rice, milk, jaggery, and nuts.

Be sure to explore the local markets and street food stalls to savor the true flavors of Kochi.

Getting Around

Kochi has a well-connected public transportation system, making it easy to navigate the city and its surroundings. Here are some options for getting around:

  • Taxis: Taxis are easily available and can be hailed from the street or booked through mobile apps. Make sure to negotiate the fare or insist on using the meter.
  • Auto-rickshaws: These three-wheeled vehicles are a popular mode of transport in Kochi. Negotiate the fare beforehand or make sure the meter is used.
  • Public Buses: Kochi has an extensive bus network that is economical and convenient for getting around the city. Look out for the green and white buses.
  • Ferries: Kochi is known for its scenic backwaters, and ferries are a great way to explore the surrounding islands and coastal areas.

Now that you have some knowledge of the local customs, festivals, cuisine, and transportation, you can venture out into the vibrant and captivating city of Kochi. Enjoy your journey of discovery!