Skip to main content

Onam Festival of Kerala

Kerala is getting ready to celebrate and rejoice the State Festival Onam in the month of Chingam (Bhadrapada), which falls usually at the end of August or beginning of September.This year Onam is celebrated on the 23rd of August 2010.

The ten-day harvest festival Onam is starting with “Atham” and it is the greatest festival of Kerala. After a bounteous harvest, Onam is the time for the farmers to celebrate the bounties of nature and make merry. A unique feature of this festival is that it is celebrated unitedly by all Keralites without caste or religious differences. Every Malayali wherever he or she may be in the world celebrates Onam.

Legend
According to legends, Lord Mahavishnu visited King Mahabali, the benevolent ruler of Kerala, in disguise as Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin, requesting for three feet of space to live. Without realising his intention, the king agreed to his request. Suddenly Vamana began to grow and he covered the whole earth by one foot and covered the sky with other foot. When Vamana asked for the third foot, Mahabali had no other go, but to show his head. Vamana kept his third foot on the King’s head and the King was pushed down under the earth. Realising the true form of Vamana, Mahabali requested the lord to permit him to visit his people once a year. His request was granted and Onam is the yearly celebration of welcoming the benevolent ruler.


As a symbolic gesture to welcome ‘King Mahabali’ attractive pookalam (a floral decoration) with a clay mount in the centre, is laid in front of every home starting on Atham day, which will continue till Thiruvonam day. The pookalam is usually circular in shape and multi-coloured. Making a Pookalam is a colourful and joyous event for the young girls.

Onam Sadhya

A sumptuous meal on plantain leaf is served in every house. The main items for the sadhya include sambar, kalan, olan, pachadi, aviyal, elassery, thoran, puliyenji, naranga curry, papad, banana chips, sweet banana chips, and steamed Kerala banana pieces and the traditional payasam.


In the evenings, girls, traditionally dressed sing onapaattu, perform traditional folk dances like Thiruvathirakkali, Kaikottikali and Thumbithullal, dancing around the traditional brass lamps called Nilavilakku. Men do the Pulikkali. They paint their bodies with leopards spots and dance in front of another group of men dressed like hunters. The children play overwhelmed at the new swing tied between trees in addition to many traditional games during this festival. Boat races and carnivals enrich the festival. At Trichur (Thrissur), caparisoned elephants take part in a spectacular procession.

Comments

shooting star said…
one of my best friends was from kerala and i used to attend onam festivities wid her at the malayali asociation ..loved it!!!
travelmuse said…
Glad to know that you used to attend Onam festivities with your Kerala friend, and you loved it. Wish you more such chances. It is really a wonderful experience.

Popular posts from this blog

An Evening in Veli Tourist Village

During my recent visit to Thiruvananthapuram, I was keen to visit Veli Tourist Village.






Veli Tourist Home is located amidst the lush green coconut groves and backwaters of Thiruvananthapuram, in the Veli Tourist Village, bordered by the Arabian Sea and the Veli Lagoon. It is a great picnic spot, with a beautiful garden and facilities for water sports.


There is also a waterfront park which has a floating bridge that connects to the Shanghumukham Beach.




The Veli Tourist Village is the place where the lake merges with the Arabian sea. The lagoon here is separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar.

















It is a nice place for tourists with young children to spend an afternoon. There are lots for the kids to do. Children can also enjoy a horse ride.











Thiruvananthapuram Airport is just 3 kms away, and the railway station is just 8 kms away.

My trip to Nagamangalam, Tamil Nadu

Recently I had an opportunity to visit Lourdes Matha church (Our Lady of Lourdes) at Nagamangalam in Tamil Nadu. Nagamangalam is a Village in Kelamangalam Taluk in Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu State. One of my friends wanted to visit there and asked me whether I can accompany her. I took it as a God given opportunity and agreed to accompany her. I immediately googled to collect more details about the place, but initially I didn't find much information. I hope this blog may be of help to those who wish to travel there. The Church is located in the beautiful J.G. Farm at St.Mary's Nagar. From the gate of the Farm it takes 1.5 kms to reach there.
Canteen We reached there at about 8.30 a.m. on a Saturday, without knowing the working time. After spending some time there we were about to return and by then people started coming in. So please check the timing of the Church before your visit at http://www.lourdesmatha.com/. The history of the church - copied from…

Family Trip to Coorg - Part 6

Family Trip to Coorg - Part 5

Our last stop was at Golden Temple (also known as Tibetan Monastery). It is located 6 kms from Kushal Nagar, at Bylkuppe.  Established in 1961, it is home to more than 7000 monks and students and is still very calm and peaceful. 












The main attraction of this place are the 40 ft tall golden Buddha statues. The temple has three resplendent golden statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava and the Buddha Amitayus.The walls of the temples and the institution are decorated with colourful paintings depicting gods and demons of Tibetan Buddhist mythology.  Tibetan festivals are celebrated with great gusto at the monastery.  

It is a beautiful place with well laid out gardens  There are shops for the purchase of various Tibetan items.  They are a little overpriced, but good items are available.  

As you enter this place, it  gives you an overall different and weird experience as though you are in a country outside India.