What is onam Festival?
When we speak about popular festivals of South India, Onam comes on top of the list. Onam is specifically celebrated in Kerala. As India is a multi cultural country so the popularity of this festival spread across the country. But the effects of this festival felt in South India. This festival lasts for 10 days with festivities and lot of funs. It is one of the bright colourful festival celebrated once in year before harvesting crops. This festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali.
In God’s own country, it is harvest time now… it is the time for welcoming the beloved King Mahabali… it the time for showcasing the cultural richness of Keralam… it is the time for festivities and food. Welcome home as it is the time for Magical colours of Onam.
When Onam Celebrated?
According to Hindu calendar Onam festival falls in the month of Chingam in Malayalam (August- September) and it lasts for 10 days. Onam in kerala is unique festival on the earth, the state is called as home of God.
During this festive session people do lot of funs, sing songs, intricate flower carpets, organize snake boat races and most number of colorfulness cultural elements. On the day of Onam People do special prayers on Hindu temples. Onam this year falls on 29th August 2012(Wednesday). Onam Kerala’s famous harvest festival, will be celebrated this year from August 26. Until August 31, when the festival ends, Keralites will push concerns over the deficient monsoon to the background and celebrate the annual visit of mythical King Mahabali.
Onam is a welcome to mythical King Mahabali. Legend has it that every year on Onam, Raja Mahabali comes down to earth to bless his followers and devotees. In anticipation and out of a spirit of happiness the people of Kerala leave no stone unturned to welcome their dear king.
Onam Sadhya (Onasadya)
Onam Sadhya is an interesting part of Onam festival. Onam Sadhya is typical 9-course vegetarian meal prepared in every Malayali households.
Check out the yummy Onam Sadhya menu…
Onam Semiya Payasam
The aroma of fresh flowers and incense filled the air during onam festival. In kerala Onam pookalam means the art of works done by flower decoration in front of every house during this festive session.
The Onam day starts at the crack of dawn, and is marked by wearing new clothes and the home is decorated with elaborate flower arrangements called Pookalam or the flower carpet.
Keralites staying away from their hometown gather in a single place and do lot of fun filled activities like pookalam competition. Now a days we find Pookalam contest being organised in different cities of India and abroad. You can visit Pookalam contest in Delhi this time.
Onam Celebration And cultural elements
During Onam festive session different competitions and cultural functions are organized in kerala. Let’s light on some of the spectacular facets of great Onam festival of Kerala.
Onam snake boat race
Snake boat race popularly known as Vallamkali in Kerala which is most exciting among all Onam celebrations. It is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. Vallamkali boats are not ordinary boats. There is a standard scale to make it. It is about 100 feet long and has a seating capacity of 150 men.
This boat race competition was first initiated by Jawahar Lal Nehru in a national level.The most remarkable feature of the Snake Boat Race is the depiction of the great team spirit. It also displays the importance of being united and to be in harmony with nature. A single mistake by one person can produce imbalance and could lead to the overturning of the boat.
Decorated Elephant Parade
Elephant Parade is another spectacular interesting event during festival. People decorate elephants with different colours. Golden plates and ornaments and walk on the street with elephant.
With joy and harmony people sing traditional songs and dance performance along with elephant parade, so it adds more fun to Onam celebrations.
As per tradition of India songs and Dances plays major role in every Indian festival. Some of the popular dances are Thiruvathira Kali, Pulikali, Thumbi Thullal and Kummattikali. But Thiruvathira kali is the major dances which performed during Onam.
In this dance act 8,10 or 12 members performs in a group. In this dance style women dance arround Pooklam.
Pulikali, also known as Kaduvakali, is a dance depicting the act of hunting tiger. This is mainly performed by men. In Thumbi Thulla act women dressed with jewellery and traditional clothing with class and grace.
Some of popular games played during the festival of Onam are Onakalikal, Talappanthukali, Kayyankali, Attakalam, Ambeyyal, KutuKutu.
Onam is a special festival meant for taste and traditional dishes. On this festive session each and every home special Onam dishes been prepared to make colourful to the festival. Some of popular kerala cuisine and kerala recipes been prepared during the festival are Parippucurry, Injithair, Sambar, Avial, Kalan, Olan, Thoran, Puliinji, Pineapple Pachhady, Erissery, Koottucurry, Kootukari, Sarkarapuratty, Kaya Varuthathu, Pappadam, Payasam, Prathaman, Tomato Thokku, Kheer.
Onam Kumbalanga Pachadi
Decorative pookalams and polished brass lamps add a magical spirit of festivity to Onam, even as the aroma of coconut oil mingled with olan and kalan wafts across…
Chennai is all set to succumb to the magic of Onam fare: a treat for those who can’t rustle up this elaborate meal at home and the perfect way to give non-Malyalis’ a taste of food from God’s own country…
Exchanging Onam Wishes
As per Indian tradition people meet each other and wishing long live and happiness. On the eve of this special occasion they exchange gifts with each other as a token of love and affection. A gift reminds past events and memorable facts happened. As a gift people offer flowers, cloths, jewellery greeting cards, kitchen wares, toys and many other items. All we are moving with change of society and its traditations. Presently people are staying far away from their home town and sometime missing their friends and relatives on this special Onam occasion. In this scenario electronic media is helping them to send special Onam sms through mobile and e-greeting cards. Onam cards are incomplete without your heartfelt messages.
Onam message for 2012
Aishwaryavum, Samriddiyum Niranja nalla nalukal ennum undavatte oppam manassil snehathinte oru onam.
! HAPPY ONAM 2012!
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