Feast of St. Sebastian
Arthunkal Perunnal or the feast of St. Sebastian is a grand celebration held at a small but beautiful coastal village Arthunkal. The Arthunkal village is located 6kms south west from Cherthala and 22 km north of Alappuzha. The Arthunkal church or St. Andrews Forane Church, an important pilgrimage centre of Kerala is the exact location of St. Sebastian’s Feast. Large number of devotees gathers at Arthunkal village to witness and participate in the mega event of St. Sebastian’s Feast.
The St. Sebastian’s Feast begins on January 10 every year. The colorful beginning is marked by stunning fire works and melodious native music. The St. Sebastian’s Feast is extended up to two weeks in the month of January. January 20 is observed as the perunnal or the main day of St. Sebastian’s Feast and January 27 as Ettamperunnal or the 8th day or the feast , the octave of the feast. Devotees come in large number for the main feast while octave is witnessed by local people only.
The major attraction of St. Sebastian’s feast is the ceremonial procession of devotees carrying the graceful statue of St. Sebastian, from the church to the beach and back. Even a unique ritual of devotees reaching church by crawling on their knees is also associated with St. Sebastian Feast. People at the Arthunkal village also believe that St. Sebastian in the form of Eagle is always present there to guard and protect them.
How to Reach
Cherthala is the nearest railway station from the Arthunkal village. The Arthunkal village is about 6 km away from Cherthala.
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport from Arthunkal village. The Arthunkal village is about 22 km north of Alappuzha and Alappuzha is 85 km away from Cochin.