New Delhi: The festival of Onam is celebrated in the month of Chingam and is spread over 10 days, as per the Malayalam calendar. This year, the celebrations began on September 1 and will culminate on September 13.
Atham, Chitira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Utthradom and Thiruvonam together make Onam an elaborate ceremony.
Onam signifies the annual homecoming of King Mahabali from Patala Loka, where he was sent by Lord Vishnu’s Vamana avatar.
As per popular belief, King Mahabali, the most benevolent Raja of Kerala visits his kingdom to see his subjects happy and prosperous on the occasion of the auspicious harvest festival.
Women participate in Pookolam (rangoli made of flowers) and perform Kaikottikali, a dance form. Dressed in their best fineries, women look resplendent in an off-white Kasavu sari with golden border, teamed up with gold jewellery. The men look dapper in white Veshti (dhoti) and shirt.
People get together to participate in a number of cultural activities to celebrate the festival together. Boat race (Vallam Kali), Pulikali (folk dance in the disguise of a tiger) and other dance and art forms specific to Kerala are usually performed.
Sadya, an elaborate meal with 26 food preparations adds more fervour to the festivities.
Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Onam!