In Kollam people from different castes and religion co exist and so the culture of Kollam also is a mixture of several cultures. The culture lies in the festivals, art, education etc. The language of people in Kollam is Malayalam which is the official language of Kerala as whole. People who speak Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are also found here and the foreign language spoken is English.
When it comes to festivals, people from each community celebrate different occasions which according to them are important based on their traditions. Some of the main Hindu festivals celebrated are Kollam Pooram, Onam etc and the other non Hindu festivals are Christmas, Easter and Ramzan. The main feature of the culture here is the tolerance of each religion as people from different communities take part in the religious festivals.
Besides the religious festivals there are also some festivals celebrated in Kollam that marks the cultural tradition of this place. Such festivals include Oachirakkali in which the sword fight conducted as part of this festival denotes the famous Kayamkulam battle that was fought between the Kayamkulam Raja and the Travancore Ruler. Some other festivals are Kottamkulangara festival, Kettukazhcha etc and are attracted by a large number of tourists.
The two main components of the Kollam culture are the dance and music. Several dance and music programmes are conducted in Kollam throughout the year and annually. The dance form which is practiced for a long time was Kathakali and a new version of it called the Ramanattam was created by Kottarakkara Thampuran. He also improved Krishnanattam by using Malayalam instead of Sanskrit so that the common man can also understand and enjoy it. Some other dance forms that are practiced here include Koothu, Ottamthullal, Kaikottikali etc. The music that is practiced mainly here is the folk music which includes Vadakkan Pattukal, Kalyana Pattukal, Thekkan Pattukal and Mappila Pattukal. A classical music form that is sung is the Sopanasangeetham.
Kollam was a centre of learning and the cultural contributions of Kollam are very important. Two main literary works that has got historical significance include Leelathilakam and Unnineeli Sandesham. Some of the famous personalities who have contributed to the culture of Kollam are Paravoor K.C. Kesava Pillai who was a poet and writer, E.V. Krishna Pillai, C.V. Kunjuraman, T.M. Varghese and Sanku Pillai. Kollam culture has always supremacy in education and at present the literacy rate of this district is 93.77%.