Festivals of India(South)
Onam(The story behind it)
There is a story behind every celebration.What is the story behind Onam,the unique festival of kerala...........?
Once upon a time,there was a king named 'Mahabali'.He was a very wise king.There wasn't any poverty and nobody cheat during his reign.Everyone live in peace and harmony.None has a complaint against him.But the gods felt jealous in him and seeked the help of a lord named 'Mahavishnu'.'Mahavishnu' took the form of an avatar named 'Vamanan'.'vamanan' turned himself to a small boy and asked 'Mahabali' that he need 3 feet land.'Mahabali' granted his wish.At the moment, he granted the wisg,'Vamanan' turned to a giant and measured heavenand hell in first foot,the earth in second and there wasn't any space left for third foot.'mahabali' asked him to put his third foot on his head.'Vamanan' does as he told him.'Mahabali' landed up in hell,but he seeked the permission of 'Vamanan' to allow him to appear once in a year to visit his people.This incident is celebrated as Onam.
How Onam is celebrated?
The main attraction in Onam celebration is 'Onnapookkalam'(decoration with flowers).It is arranged in every home in Kerala on the day of Onam celebration.It is the children who arranges everything for the flower decoration.It is made in the front yard of evry house and is very attractive.Everyone clean their home and surroundings to welcome their old king. The flower decoration is done for 10 days including onam. The flower decoration is done in a circular shape by using flowers of many colors.
An art form most enjoyed during onam season is 'pulikali'.in this art form a man is dressed up as a tiger and a man as a hunter. The man dressed up as hunter tries to catch the man dressed up as the tiger. It is performed with the support of famous instrument in south India named as 'Chenda'. Both the men need good makeup and dedication to perform the art. It is mostly enjoyed by children during this festive season.
A game played during this festive season is called 'Vadamvali' in native language(equivalent to tug of war). It is played as 2 teams of equal strength. Both the teams will be provided with a rope and they try to pull the rope to their side by applying maximum strength. The team who manages to pull the rope to their side wins. This game is an entertaining one and shows the team spirit to a great extent.
Tug of War
Onam-a nice food time
Onam is a time for having great food including mouth watering rice pudding called 'payasam'.It is prepared in almost all houses during onam.It is a sweet dessert prepared with rice,nuts,dried fruits,milk...It is usually served after the meal.The meal for onam celeberation is served in banana leaf.The meal gets more tasty when served in banana leaf.
Significance of Boat Race
Boat race is an important competition cum entertainment of Kerala. Boat racing has a significance in celebrating Kerala's official festival Onam. Nehru Trophy boat race is Kerala's most prestigious boat race named in memory of India's first prime minister Dr. Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the one who delivered inaugural speech on first Nehru Trophy boat race. Initially it wasn't a competition at all,just an exhibition. But Jawaharlal Nehru gifted a trophy to the boat that came first in excitement. Thus came the name Nehru Trophy boat race.