Keralites all over the world are gearing up to celebrate Onam on Friday, 28 August.
All You Need to Know about Onam Festival
Onam is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Chingam. The 10-day-long harvest festival is celebrated from Atham to Thiruvonam.
The festival marks the homecoming of mythical king Mahabali, who emerges from the netherworld to visit his people in Kerala. According to Onam's popular myth, Lord Vishnu, who took the avatar of Vamana, sent Mahabali to Paathalam (an imaginary place below the earth) as many were jealous of his popularity. However, he was granted the boon to visit his subjects once a year.
Onam is all about being happy and engaging in fun-filled activities. From wearing traditional attires, laying flower carpets (Athapookalam), performing Thiruvathira dance, having Onasadya (sumptuous feast) to Onakalikal (games), the 10-day-long festival promises a lot of happy moments.
The women in the South Indian state wear the traditional attire, white saree with golden borders, and men wear similar coloured shirt and mundu on Onam.
Keralites make Pookalam, a type of rangoli that is designed with flowers, from Atham till Thiruvonam. Pookalam competitions are also arranged throughout the state.
Keralites enjoy a sumptuous meal served on a banana leaf on Thiruvonam. It is said that one must have the Onam feast even if he is forced to sell his property. From banana chips to more than two varieties of Payasam (dessert), around 30-65 vegetarian delicacies are included in the Onam Sadya.
Onakalilal like Pulikali (folk art by performers painted like tigers and hunters), tug of war (Vadamvali) and musical chair (Kaserakali) make the festival more exciting.
Thiruvathirakali is a ritual dance performed by women in Kerala.
Watch the Thiruvathirakali performance staged by 5,211 dancers during the cultural festival at Irinjalakuda. The performance has also entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
Wishing all the readers of IBTimes India a very happy and prosperous Onam.