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Onam - Kerala's popular Festival

Updated on September 11, 2013

Onam is one of the famous festival of Kerala. Onam is celebrated for ten days. These ten days are atham, chithira, chodi, vishakam, anizham, thrikketa, moolam, pooradam, uthradam and thiruvonam. There is also two days celebrated after the thiruvonam which is avittom and chadayam. People of Kerala enjoys these days very happily and joyfully. The celebrations start from the 'atham' day to 'thiruvonam.' Onam is a festival of Hindu religion. The malayalee people of other states also enjoys the onam festival but not in a very auspicious manner. The children of Kerala have their vacation at this festival time and they enjoy the festival very happily.

 Onam Pookalam
Onam Pookalam | Source

Onam events

There are various interesting activities in this onam season. One of the very interesting activity done during onam days are making 'Onam pookalam' in front of houses. 'Onam pookalam means arranging the flowers to form a beautiful shape. Variety of flowers are used for making the 'Onam pookalam'. Flowers are chopped for designing the pookalam. There are various places in Kerala which conduct 'Pookala matsaram'. Pookala matsaram is a competition of designing the flowers. These pokkalam will be very large and it will be nicely designed. These pookalam competitions are usually conducted in schools of Kerala. The competition will be conducted on a special day of onam.

Why kerala celebrates Onam festival?

At the early years Kerala was ruled by the famous king 'Mahabali'. With the ruling of mahabali the people of Kerala lived very happily. There were no theft, cheat, lie among the people. All the people were considered to be equal. The people lived very joyfully. Once the lord Vishnu came to earth taking the vamana avatar and requested the king mahabali to give 3 foot of land. Mahabali agreed and asked to measure the land. At that time vamana began to become larger and he took the entire sky by one foot step, then vaman measured the the whole earth by another step and then asked the king to show the third place to measure. The king understood it was the lord Mahavishnu and asked the lord to place his foot on the head of king and the king mahabali had gone to the underground known as the 'Pathalaloha'. As the King Mahabali was very attached to the people of Kerala, he asked the lord to allow him once to visit his kingdom to see the people of Kerala. It is believed that the King Mahabali visits Kerala every year on the onam season. For welcoming the king People make onam pookalam.

Onam sadya
Onam sadya | Source
Pulikali | Source

What makes Onam different from other festivals?

Every people of Kerala buy new clothes and wear these clothes on these days. In the days of onam festival in every houses people make delicious foods known as the 'Onam sadhya'. There will be variety of delicious dishes for the 'onam sadhya'. SOme of the popular dishes prepared on these days are 'kaalan','olan', 'avial', 'elassery', 'sambar', 'pappadam' etc. The onam sadhya is served on the leaf of banana. People prepare 'onam payasam' -a delicious sweet dish on the onam days. People visits temples on these festival days and there will be special poojas on behalf of this. There will be several games conducted on behalf of these festival. The 'pulikali' is one of the entertaining game conducted by several trained people to entertain the people. The people will be dressed and painted like tigers.'Kaikotikali' is one of the important folk dance which will be conducted on this onam festival celebrations. Every people of Kerala celebrates the onam spending with their family very happily.


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    • sujithbeta profile image

      Sreejith k 5 years ago from Kerala, India

      Yes dinkan53 enjoy this upcoming onam happily.

      Wishing you a happy onam in advance

    • sujithbeta profile image

      Sreejith k 5 years ago from Kerala, India

      So you are a malayali. I very much happy to hear this hub reminded you some nice memories of onam.

      Happy Onam in advance

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      maveli nadu vaneedum kalam, manusharellarum onnupole, amodhathode vasikkum kalam..............(When Maveli, our King, ruled the land, All the people were equal,And people were joyful.................) the famous onam song. Great memories of onam games(Onakalikal). My favorite one was Kabaddi. But now a days you can't watch even half of that. Anyway i hope to have the sadhya on 29th August and wishing every one a Happy Onam in advance.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      The harbinger of Onam!! Gave me some nice memories of Onam in my 'Kerala'. Ona Sadhya, Onapookkalam, Onapattu everything I pondered after reading this hub.


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