Onam Festival 2022

In South India especially Kerala, the Onam festival is celebrated in grandeur.
It is the time of the year when Kerala is exhilarated with music, songs, dances, sadya along with huge events of boat rides and delicious Onasadya.
While the festivities started on August 30 itself, Onam will see its biggest celebrations on September 8. Traditionally speaking, the festival falls in the month of Chingam according to the Malayalam calendar.
History :
According to Hindu Mythology, the sage Prahlada had a grandson named Mahabali. He took over the three worlds by defeating the Gods (Devas).
Then the Gods approached Lord Vishnu to help them in the battle against Mahabali, Vishnu refused considering Mahabali was a good ruler and his devotee.
Post his victory, Mahabali performed a Yajna after his victory over the Gods and had to grant anyone any request. Lord Vishnu took this opportunity to test Mahabali's devotion and approached Mahabali in the avatar of a dwarf boy called Vamana.
The king offered everything to the boy but he was adamant about seeking three paces. Mahabali, although surprised by the boy's wish, agreed to grant it.
Vamana grew and covered the land and water with one foot and the sky with another foot, now to place his third-foot Mahabali offered himself.
Vamana trampled Mahabali down to Pathala (hell) but pleased by his devotion offered him a boon to visit his land every year. The revisit of Mahabali marks the festival of Onam.
Significance
Onam marks the beginning of the Malayalam year Kollavarsham. It is a harvest festival as it is the time of year when the people gather a good harvest. The festival is celebrated for 10 days. People perform various festivities and cultural activities during these 10 days.

How to celebrate Onam :

Day 1: Atham

On Atham, Keralites will get up early to take a bath, pray, and start making their pookkalam, which are floral decorations spread out in front of homes to welcome the king. The flowers are gathered by men, while the designs are created by women using the flowers.

Day 2 – Chithira

The pookkalam gets two additional layers of orange and yellow flowers the following day. Also, people will clean their homes and visit temples. The ten sacred flowers of Kerala are used to make pookkalams traditionally, although many other flowers are now used.

Day 3: Chodhi

Families will start buying additional clothing and jewellery for one another on Chodhi, and the pookkalam will be covered in yet another layer of flowers. The men will buy a mundu, a garment worn around the waist, while the women would dress in a Kasavu Sari, a traditional Keralan clothing, on this day. Young girls wear Pattu Pavadai, the traditional clothing that distinguishes young girls from married women.

Day 4 - Vishakam

The Onam Sadhya, the centrepiece of the festival, begins with Vishakam. Onam Sadhya is a nine-course dinner eaten on a banana leaf that consists of 11 to 13 traditional foods. In many families, there may be up to 26 or 30 dishes.

Day 5 – Anizham

The annual Vallamkali snake boat race takes place on this day. The Vallamkali races, which feature a magnificent parade, are held on the revered Pampa River. To witness the races and support their teams, spectators come from all over Kerala.

Day 6 – Thriketa

People who have migrated to different areas would visit their ancestral homes on the sixth day to celebrate with their loved ones. Also, they will trade gifts with one another. The pookkalam also includes fresh flowers.

Day 7 – Moolam

Families will visit one another on Moolam and prepare a smaller version of the Sadya. Also beginning to be served in Hindu temples is the Onasadya, a dietary vegan feast. There are numerous traditional dance performances, including the Puli Kali.

Day 8 – Pooradam

The day is significant for Onam festivities. A Ma is a small pyramid-shaped clay idol made by devotees. The idol is also known as Poorada Uttigal because it is made on the day of Pooradam. Flowers are used to embellish each Ma.

Day 9 – Uthradam

Onam preparations are at their most intensive on this festival day. King Mahabali is said to have arrived in Kerala on this day, according to mythology.

Day 10 – Thiruvonam

The final day of the festival, Thiruvonam, involves the traditional welcome sign of rice flour batter being put into your homes. Along with wearing their new clothing, people give back to the less fortunate.

May Lord Mahabali bring happiness and prosperity to your life.
On this festive day, Bengalen wish you a wonderful Onam. May your house be filled with joy, happiness, and peace. Happy Onam!


 


 

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