An occasion when there’s a lot of fun and enjoyment all around in God’s own country.
Onam is also known in Kerala as Thiru Onam. This ten days long festival is really full of spirit which is awaited by every Keralite very desperately. The starting day of Onam is called, Atham and it ends up on Thiru, the final day of the festival. The logic behind the beginning of the festival is the decided upon the position of some particular group of stars.
Onam is one of the prominent festivals of Indian culture: and surely the most prominent Fiesta of Kerala and is celebrated in the beginning of the first month of the Malayali calendar. It falls in according to Gregorian calendar in August to September and in Hindi month Bhadrapada or Bhadon. During Onam Kerala takes an entire new look in a truly traditional way.
Significance of the Festival: Atham is regarded as auspicious and holy day by people of Kerala. Thiru Onam corresponds to the Shravan day in the month of August or September, hence it is also called Sravanotsavam. At this time sun is in the Zodiac sign of Leo which happens to be the sun’s house as well. Significance of Onam day in mythology is that the day of Onam is decided in accordance with the legend of King Mahabali, and to honor him this festival is celebrated. People of Kerala have a strong belief that it was this particular day in the month of Chingam when Lord Vishnu took his fifth avatar as Vaamana, appeared in the kingdom of King Mahabali and sent him to nether world. People believe that it is on the last day, Tiruonam that the spirit of King Maveli visits Kerala, hence the day is marked by feast and festivities. Devotees of Maveli celebrate the golden era witnessed in Maveli’s reign during Onam. To welcome their revered ruler, people lay flower mats (Pookalam) in the front courtyard, prepare a grand meal (Onasadya), dance, play and make merry.
Besides, Onam is an annual festival for harvesting, celebrated basically in the Indian state of Kerala. During the festive days all the activities which are centered around worshipping, and performing cultural music, Kathakali dances, sports, boat races and good food. Experience the grand festivities in the God’s own country.
Like many other religious festivals in India, Onam is celebrated by people of all religions. Women dress up in new saris and heavy jewelry and make elaborate and intricate designs of ‘rangolis’ (with colored rice paste) and ‘pookkalam’ (with flowers) in front of their homes. The legendary king Mahabali is welcomed to his kingdom with all the reverence.
Boat Race Competition: During the festival there’s a famous Snake boat race competition. To view and participate in the spectacular boat race people from various parts of the country make their special visit to Kerala. These boats are made in the shape of snake and beautifully decorated with flowers and leafs which driven by a number of sailors at a time during the race. People sing carol while boating on the backwaters to express their joy.
The Food of Festival: One of the most important thing without which any festival seems to be vacuumed is the special dish made on the festival. A number of varieties of delicious Curry are served in with Rice, Poodi, Subji, Pudding (Kheer) and coconut chutney.