Onam – 10 day Festival of Kerala

Indian Culture Description

Onam is one of the most important festivals in the Indian state of Kerala. This ten-day festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Chingam, which usually falls in August or September. Onam is a time of great joy and celebration, marked by a range of traditional rituals, music, dance, and food.

Know about Onam Festival

The festival of Onam is believed to commemorate the return of King Mahabali, who is considered to be a legendary ruler of Kerala. According to Hindu mythology, Mahabali was a just and noble king who ruled over his kingdom with compassion and wisdom. However, his growing power and popularity began to worry the gods, who feared that he might become too powerful and threaten their own status. The gods, therefore, hatched a plan to defeat Mahabali, and he was ultimately banished to the netherworld. It is believed that on the occasion of Onam, Mahabali returns to visit his kingdom and people, and the festival is celebrated in his honor.

The festival of Onam is marked by a range of cultural activities, including traditional dance forms such as Thiruvathira, Kummattikali, and Pulikali. These dances are performed by men and women, who dress up in colorful costumes and sing songs to celebrate the joy and happiness of the occasion.

One of the most important features of Onam is the Onam Sadya, a grand feast that is served on banana leaves. This meal includes a range of delicious vegetarian dishes such as aviyal, thoran, sambar, and rasam, and is accompanied by a variety of pickles, chutneys, and sweets. The Onam Sadya is prepared by families and communities, and people from all walks of life come together to share in the joy of the feast.

Another important tradition during Onam is the creation of pookalam, which is a colorful and intricate design made of flowers. People create pookalams outside their homes and temples, and the designs become more elaborate and complex as the festival progresses. It is believed that the pookalam symbolizes the prosperity and happiness of the people of Kerala.

On the final day of Onam, known as Thiru Onam, people dress up in new clothes and participate in a range of traditional rituals, including the worship of Lord Vishnu and the exchange of gifts and greetings. The day is marked by a range of cultural programs, including traditional music and dance performances, and people come together to celebrate the joy and happiness of the occasion.

In conclusion, Onam is a festival that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the people of Kerala. With its vibrant colors, lively music, and enthusiastic celebrations, Onam is an occasion to spread joy and happiness. The festival is a time for people to come together, share in traditional rituals and feast, and celebrate the spirit of unity and prosperity.

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