Onam, A Biggest Festival of South India! Onam is celebrated by Keralites around the World. The significance of Onam is to give peace and harmony among the people in the World and spread all the people to love and help their fellow beings. Onam celebration is a ten-day-long festival that has a wide variety of cultural and physical rituals and practices. It brings everyone together in a joyful mood.
Onam, the festival of flowers, All the men and women from Kerala dressed in their Kasavu garments, sitting around the designed flower pattern and make large beautiful “Athapookkalam” by using different types and colours of flowers and leaves. And make large sadhya (feast) with so many delicious vegetable dishes that will leave you to fill for days. The Onam festival lasts 10 days starting from Atham and the end day is “Thiruvonam”, it’s the biggest celebration day of the Onam festival.
History of Onam Festival
Once upon a time, the three worlds were ruled by a noble King “Mahabali”. During his time, everyone was happy, spread lots of happiness, love, these three worlds were thriving and flourishing. People get everything like money, food, shelter and more, there were no greedy and also envy. All of them lived together in peace and harmony. But the Devas got angry about this and they asked help from Lord Vishnu to get their Worlds back. But Lord Vishnu didn’t want to put his info in any sorrow because King Mahabali was an ardent Lord Vishnu devotee.
Then, Mahabali performed a ritual known as “Yaga” as an offering to Lord Vishnu. During that time, Lord Vishnu decided to his devotee, he disguised and a young boy named “Vamana”. Then he came to the Mahabali ritual place and asked for a wish. Lord Vishnu asked 3 paces and the King agreed to that. Then vamanan started growing and became so big. His one pace covered the whole earth, the next one covered the heavens. Then there was no more space for him to place his foot next. That time, King asked him to place his feet on his head and sent him beneath the earth to the Paatal Lok, the underground. Lord Vishnu became so impressed and he granted him a wish that he can come and visit his people once a year for every year. From then on, Mahabali visits his devotee every year on Onam days.
Events During Onam Festival
Onam Festival started with onappookkalam. It’s starting from Atham, onappokkalam is a magnificently done floral arrangement. In the early days, Kids went to cornfields and collected so many flowers and made onappokkalam. But nowadays there are no cornfields so that they buy flowers from the market and make elaborate pookkalam with grand designs.
It is a group dance form performed by women wearing a traditional set mundu and dance around a lamp called “Nilavilakku” singing songs about deities and stories from Epics.
“Boat Race” or “Vallam Kali” is A traditional event during the Onam festival. Different types of boats are used for the race. The Nehru Trophy boat race is the most famous and busiest event during Onam time in Kerala.
People paint tigers and leopards on the thin bodies and raid the city streets on the fourth Onam festival. Pulikkali is one of the most famous recreational forms of folk and is related to the Onam festival.
Onam Sadhya Delicious Feast
“Onam Sadhya” is one of the best delicious parts of the Onam festival. On the “Thiruvonam day,” traditional Onam sadhya is made with 26 different dishes which is served with banana leaf. A grand luxurious meal is prepared by using fresh organic fruits and vegetables. The Onam sadhya includes Brown rice, Sambar, Avail, Pickles, Koottcurry, Parippu curry, Pappadam, Payasam etc. Onam sadhya is a traditional multi-course vegetarian meal served on the festive occasion on a banana leaf featuring over 25 dishes. This enormous Onam sadhya calls for preparations beginning much in advance, which brings the community together in forging a memorable experience.
The Onam festival is close to every Malayali’s heart. It takes them back to their childhood. That memories make Onam more enjoyable. The varieties of cultural, traditional rituals and their forms elevate the Onam experience. Let’s enjoy this Onam full of Joy! Gulf fruits wishing you a Happy Onam to All!