Branded as 'Utsavam', the cultural extravaganza will be staged in 60 venues across all the 14 districts of state for three weeks, a Kerala Tourism release said.
    
'Utsavam' (festival) has been an annual event since 2007.
    
"This is an event aimed at sustaining and popularizing the traditional art forms of Kerala, some of which are on the verge of decline," Tourism Minister AP Anilkumar said.
    
"The festival is for the people of Kerala and our guests from outside the state and country," Anilkumar, who inaugurated the event on December 26 at the picturesque Bekal Fort in Kasargod in North Kerala said.
    
The inaugural day of 'Utsavam' saw the performance of 'Rhythm of Kerala', a dance medley based on tribal, classical and folk arts by seasoned artistes.
    
The first edition of 'Utsavam', held from December 2007 to March 2008 drew enthusiastic response from domestic and international travellers, fetching Kerala Pacific Asia Travel Association Gold Award in the heritage and culture.

(Agencies)

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