The most famous and cherished festival in Kerala is Onam. It celebrates the Vaman avatar of Lord Vishnu and also King Mahabali’s yearly return home. The people of Kerala celebrate this ten-day celebration with great magnificence and the greatest of festive cheer.
|Celebrating by||Malayalis Hindu Religion|
|Starting Date||28 August 2023|
|Ending Date||31 August 2023|
In the Malayalam calendar, Onam is celebrated on the day of the Thiruvonam nakshatra in the month of Chingam (Shravana asterism). According to traditional customs and the expression “Atham 10 Onam,” Onam is a ten-day celebration that begins on Atham (Hasta) nakshatra, the first day of Onam, and finishes on Thiruvonam (Shravana) nakshatra, the most momentous day of the festivities.
According to the English calendar, Onam often occurs in late August or early September.
Thiruvonam will be held on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at 6:19 AM, following the first Onam on August 28, Monday. The third and fourth Onam falls on Wednesday, August 30, and Thursday, August 31. Now that dates are clear, do you know the story behind Onam?
So, according to mythology, King Mahabali was the greatest ruler of Kerala. Under his leadership, the locals experienced their greatest period of wealth and prosperity.
Lord Vishnu took the form of a Vaman to mislead the King into giving him whatever territory he possessed to destroy Mahabali’s rule on earth. As a result, King Mahabali was exiled to a lower realm, but Vishnu also gave him the blessing of being able to return to his home country once a year. Onam commemorates the King’s return home.
Fascinating story, right?
Also, Onam, Kerala, celebrates the rice harvest festival.
To invite King Mahabali to their home, the women draw a flower rangolis and decorate it with lamps in their homes. They also wear new clothes and give gifts. On this occasion, lavish feasts are cooked called “Onam Sadhya.” There are typically 26 dishes made for this. Rice is frequently served with other meals, and pickles and papads are served on banana leaves. During Onam, a special sweet dish called “payasam” is a must-have item. On the Onam festival, the people of Kerala do boat races known as Vallamkali, where numerous large boats in the shape of snakes compete against one another. Also, whoever wins the race is offered a huge amount of money.
Besides, Onam is celebrated with various cultural festivities, such as traditional Kathakali dance, music, art, and cuisine. Also, elephants are beautifully decorated with ornaments on Onam. During Onam, you can see dancers performing the Pulikali dance who have been painted in yellow and black to resemble tigers.
Are you planning to visit Kerala? Then let us tell you Onam is the perfect time to visit. That’s why that time is often called tourism week. Since Onam brings together people of all faiths in the state, it is particularly significant. It spreads the idea of societal harmony and peace.