Every year Keralites celebrate Christmas with great joy, decorate houses with stars, Christmas tree, etc. The houses of all communities and streets will be well decorated and add-on to Christmas songs and carols. There will be Holy mass in churches at midnight and also crackers and lighted candles to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ into this world. [caption id="attachment_1132" align="alignnone" width="300"] New Year Pappa at Cochin Carnival[/caption] Fort Kochi is an important tourist spot in Ernakulam district of Kerala. This is the best place to celebrate Christmas and New Year Eve in Kerala. Christmas is the time of the grand old Cochin Carnival of Fort Kochi. Cochin Carnival is the largest gathering of foreigners in Kerala. This is the big festival for which the whole of Kochi impatiently awaits every year. The carnival starts in the last week of December and ends with a huge procession on the New Year Day through Fort Kochi. The New Year Day procession is the main highlight of the Cochin Carnival. The carnival preparations begin months in advance for hosting the carnival games, fairs and parties. The main programs conducted during the carnival include Kalam Vara (floor drawing), bicycle race, swimming in the sea, beach volleyball etc. [caption id="attachment_1133" align="alignnone" width="300"] Cochin Carnival[/caption] This is also the time of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi. It is the first Biennale being held in India. The main highlight of the Biennale is the exhibition set in spaces across Kochi, Muziris and surrounding islands. The shows of Biennale are held in existing galleries and halls, heritage buildings, etc. There will be exhibits of artworks of Indian and international artists. The Biennale also offers programs of talks, seminars, music, workshops and educational activities for school children and students. Adventure lovers can do balloon walking in which people will be taken on the waters of Fort Kochi inside an oxygen-filled mega balloon. In South India, Fort Kochi is the only place where you can have balloon walking. Kochi welcomes New Year in its own grand style. The custom of burning the 'Pappanji' on New Year's Eve is a speciality of Cochin’s New Year celebration. A number of people including foreigners gather at the Fort Kochi Beach carnival to mark the end of the year. In Portugese, the Pappanji means grandfather. The Pappanji (22 feet statue of a person wearing a long suit, round specs and a hat) is set to fire to mark the end of the year. This will also mark an official end to the Cochin Carnival. This year’s main highlight in Cochin Carnival is the illumination of all Chinese nets in Fort Kochi, Goshree bridges and the key cranes at Vallarpadom terminal. There are also houseboats arranged to visit Fort Kochi and see the illuminations.