Onam is the most popular festivals celebrated in Kerala, God’s own country. Onam is known as the harvest festival and is dropped on 22nd day of the Kerala based calendar. This beautiful festival takes place in the presence of Chingam between the auspicious months of August and September. Indian festival Onam is celebrated with immense vigor and joy on August 22nd and in order to venerate the greatest kings of all “Mahabali, Onam is observed every year with diligence and utmost respect. It is believed that the influential king’s spirit takes an expedition to Kerala during the times of Onam. The time when the monsoon is almost nearing to its end, the beautiful lands of Southern India, Kerala, Onam awaits its arrival.
FACTS ABOUT ONAM
The harvest-driven festival Onam is widely observed by the religious Hindus every year. It is celebrated for the span of 10 days within the state of Kerala. Malayali people are devoted to celebrating the return of highly influential king Mahabali. He was known to be one of the greatest rulers of Kerala and his influence is immensely reflected by the Malayali people in terms of culture and the rich traditions in all forms. The prosperous Kerala-based festival Oman is celebrated with bright hues which will make you go bewildered.
HISTORY OF KING MAHABALI
As we all are aware that the festival Onam
is celebrated because of the arrival of the high influencer king Mahabali.
But, little do we know the origin of the king? The great ruler Mahabali is said
to arrive from Patala, Loka. Mahabali was famous as an Asura king. He was known
to be the most opinionated kings of that era and the reason behind is that he
had all the luxuries of the world in his possession. King Mahabali was the
strong grandson of Prahalada. Though Mahabali showed immense thought for
knowledge, he was known for so much more. One fine day when the king Mahabali himself
was in the middle of performing a Yagna, a pint-sized and elated boy made his
entry into the Yagna Shala. The king welcomed the jovial boy and cajoled him
what he wanted? Something miraculous happened later! The boy answered, “I want
land space which had the possibility to measure within three foot-steps.”
King Mahabali gave a nod to the young male. Next, the three footsteps came to life whereas the young Vishnu was seen taking coveted steps on the entire earth and the skies along with Mahabali’s entire cap of the kingdom. This story teaches us the very best that was inhered inside the great and powerful king Mahabali.
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM KING MAHABALI?
In the course of time, the Lord who bestowed endless miracles upon the young elated boy poured blessings onto him and shipped him to Patala with a sound promise of turning him into Indra. He also promised that he would be the guarding angel of the wonderful gates of Patala. And with the great persuasion of Mahabali’s influence, lord Vishnu later gave permission to Mahabali to return back to his kingdom from the now-famous place Patala every year. And it is said that the day he makes his return, it is officially known as the Onam festival.
10 DAYS OF ONAM
The prosperous festival of Onam is celebrated in the span of 10 days. All the days are named in an intriguing way. Onam is a festival celebrated as King Mahabali arrives.
THE 10 DAYS OF ONAM ARE AS FOLLOWED BELOW:
DAY 1 OF ONAM, ATHAM
The first day of Onam is known as Atham. It is when the king Mahabali prepares to step into the earth. The day kick starts with the decorations and crafts of Pookalam (yellow florals). The best thing about this day is that these flower’s size grows inch by inch as the day passes by.
DAY 2 OF ONAM, CHITHIRA
On this day, houses are cleaned generously whereas additional flowers to Pookalam are added.
DAY 3 OF ONAM, CHODI
People shop to the fullest on this auspicious day of Onam. Besides the flowers, that is!
DAY 4 OF ONAM, VISHAKAM
This is the day where competitions began all over Kerala.
DAY 5 OF ONAM, ANIZHAM
On this day, the boat race of Vallamkali begins.
DAY 6 OF ONAM, THRIKETTA
Vacation of Onam commences.
DAY 7 OF ONAM, MOOLAM
The state Is doused with beauty and the decorations please the eye of the public. Dance form Ona Sadya along with the other styles inclined to the Onam festival is performed.
DAY 8 OF ONAM, POORADAM
The immense statues of the king Mahabali alongside Vamana are thoroughly cleansed and are mounted at the central point of Pookalam, which has been greatly heightened in size.
DAY 9 OF ONAM, UTHRADOM
People across the state purchase fresh vegetables at the same time make lip-smacking traditional delicacies.
DAY 10 OF ONAM, THIRUONAM
Devotes cleanse thyself, begun the distribution of pure gifts, as well as special pujas, are done in nearby temples. One of the most special Onam dishes, Thiruona Sadya gets prepped across all homes in great abundance. Besides this, fun competitions take place in different cities.
HOW IS ONAM CELEBRATED
The heart-wrenching tradition that makes the Onam celebrations more intriguing is their one-of-kind dance. A lot of people are unaware of this ritual.
One of the main highlights of the Onam festival is the grand tiger dance which is known as Pulikali. It has a vague meaning ‘the play of the tiger”. This wonderful dance was established with great pride nearly 200 years back. In order to embrace manliness, Kochi’s previous king made it a symbol of masculinity attached to this legendary dance. Pulakali is celebrated with thousands of people who gather themselves fully doused in the tiger-like get-up. From head to toe, they carefully paint themselves and don the artificial cloth of Tiger’s resemblance. Later, a very neatly sketched dance is performed by these people alongside the traditional music.