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Onam (ഓണം, ओणम)

Onam_pookkalam_desibantu

Onam is celebrated in the State of Kerala, the Southern part of India. It’s the festival that is celebrated traditionally by all Malayalee Hindu’s around the world.

  • According to Malayalam Calendar, in 2014, Thiru Onam is on September 7th in Chingam month. The celebrations start on Atham ( August 29th) that is 10 days before Onam.
  • It is also called as harvest festival lasting for ten days.
  • One more reason for celebrating this festival is to welcome the King Mahabali.
  • A grand procession called “Athachamayam” is held on the very first day of Onam with the highlights of this procession are caparisoned elephants.
  • The festivities commence with floral arrangements “ pookalam” by all females on ground in front of every homes in welcoming King Mahabali.
  • Pepole get themselves dress traditionally by buying onam clothes which is called as, “Onakkodi”.
  • In every home people prepare and serve elaborate joyous feasts called as “ Ona Sandya” which is typically served on plantain leaves, it’s a pure vegetarian menu that includes more than 15 varieties of dishes.
  • Traditional dance and music performances are performed during all these 10 days.
  • A much awaited sport snake boat races “ Vallamkali” competitions are organized in lakes all around Kerala.
  • Many lamps are lit in temples .A palmyra tree is erected in front of temples and is lit with a torch and burned to ashes to signify that King Mahabali went to Patala as a sacrifice.
  • According to Legend, Vamanamoorthy Temple in Thrikkakara (also known as Thrikkakara Temple), located around 15 kilometers northeast of Ernakulam near Kochi, is particularly associated with the Onam Festival. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that Thrikkakara was the abode of good demon King Mahabali, who was generous. His reign was considered to be the golden era of Kerala. However, the gods grew concerned about the King’s power and popularity. As a result, Lord Vamana is said to have sent King Mahabali to the underworld with his foot, and the temple is located at the spot where this happened. The King asked to return to Kerala once a year to ensure that his people were still happy, well fed, and content. Lord Vamana granted this wish, and King Mahabali comes to visit his people and his land during Onam.

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