Saturday, September 25, 2010

Onam Festival

Onam festival is on 16th of September, Monday in 2013, on 7th of September, Sunday in 2014 and on 28th of August, Friday in 2015.

Significance of Onam

Onam is another famous Hindu festival of harvest. Onam is a major festival of the southern Indian state of Kerala. It falls in the Malayali month of Chingam, which is in the month of August–September of the English calendar. This day marks the homecoming of King Mahabali, whose spirit visits Kerala each year on this day. Trinadrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam are the three places that see the most spectacular celebrations of the state.

Onam Festivities

[caption id="attachment_1720" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Onam festival in Kerala"]Onam Pookalam[/caption]

People of all communities join in the festivities of Onam all over Kerala. The carnival of Onam lasts for ten long days, in which you can see the best of the culture and tradition of Kerala. The first and last days of this festival known as Atham and Thiruonam, respectively, are the two most important days. Thousands of people from all over India as well as abroad flock into Kerala to be a part of this grand celebrations. Kerala tourism promotes this day in a major way.

Preparation of Onasadya

A grand feast called Onasadya is prepared on the tenth day of Thiruanam. This feast comprises an elaborate nine-course meal of about 13 dishes. As per tradition Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on the floor on mats to enjoy the feast.

Vallamkali and Aranmula boat race

Snake boat race locally known as Vallamkali is another major attraction of this festival. The colorful and thrilling sight of the snake boats being oared by hundreds of boatmen along with chanting of songs and thunderous cheers of spectators gathered all over is a brilliant experience, which is one of its kinds. The Pampa River is famous for Aranmula boat race.

Traditional game called Onakalikal forms an integral part of Onam celebrations. Men play sports such as Talappanthukali, which is played with ball, game of archery called Ambeyyal, Kutukutu and even indulge in combats known as Kayyankali and Attakalam.

King Mahabali welcomed

Women celebrate this auspicious day by making intricate designs to welcome King Mahabali. Women also perform graceful traditional dances called Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikkali lend an added charm to the celebrations. Pulikkali is a traditional dance form that has originated as far back as the 18th century, in which people dress up as tigers and dance to the sound of percussions.

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