The three-day annual fiesta on the Payippad Lake, 35km from Alappuzha, commemorates the installation of the deity at the Subramanya Swamy Temple in Harippad. The story is that the people of the village decided to build a temple with Sree Ayyappa as the presiding deity. After the temple was ready, they had a vision directing them to a whirlpool at Kayamkulam Lake where they would find the idol of Sree Subramanya which was to be installed at the temple. Accordingly, the elders of the village accompanied by divers and swimmers rowed to the spot and found the idol which was escorted back ceremoniously by devotees from the entire region in colorfully decorated boats. This happened on the Thiruvonam day of the Malayalam month of Chingam. To this day a water fiesta is conducted along the route traced by the auspicious procession.
Besides the boat race, spectacular water pageants are organized with water floats, decorated boats, performing arts, children in fancy attire etc. The vanchipattu is a characteristic feature of these processions. The event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over.