Mesmerizing carnival of Onam incredibly shows the culture and tradition of Kerala celebrated in the beginning of Chingam month. Know here how and why Malayali people wonderfully celebrate festival of Onam.
When is Onam in 2012?
In Kerala, the most popular and special festival Onam in 2012 is on 29 August. Onam comes under Chingam month and lasts for ten days. Chingam is a Malayali word, which states the Shravan-Bhadrapad month (August-September). Onam festival is heartily celebrated to commemorate Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu and homecoming of legendary emperor or King Mahabali. It is apparently seen in Kerala that festival of Onam is certainly the biggest and most significant celebration for Kerala people. Onam lasts for ten days and offers millions of opportunities to the Keralites for expressing immense joy. It is strongly believed that pious spirit of King Mahabali visits on the sacred occasion of Onam. It is said that Onam was recognized as National Festival of Kerala in 1961.
Onam presents incredible culture and tradition of Kerala
Festival of Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month Chingam. It is the first month of Malayalam calendar. This festival truly presents rich culture and incredible tradition of the State of Kerala. Malayali people really enjoy the carnival of this festival, which lasts for ten days. People wear traditional dress of Kerala and sing folk songs to mesmerize listeners. Women decorate their homes and make colourful rangoli by flowers. Apparently, each and everyone truly experience enormous pleasure during this occasion.
How Malayalis celebrate Onam?
Wonderful celebration of Onam in Malabar lasts from four to ten days. One can certainly see spellbind sight of Kerala during carnival of Onam. 1st day called Atham and 10th day called Thiruvonam are considered the most significant days of all. With depth of heart and soul, Malayali people beautifully arrange feasts, perform impressive folk songs, dances, and participate in various notable games. They also majestically include elephants, boats and flowers to make the carnival dynamic. Women wonderfully show their cultural talent. They prepare beautifully designed flower mats called Pookalam, which is kept in the front courtyard of house. It is believed that the flower mats are kept to welcome King Mahabali.
Performing dances are elegant part of auspicious occasion like Onam. Women perform Kaikottikali and Thumbi Thullal dances, and other folk dances to enchant spectators.
Moreover, to amalgamate elegance in the carnival of this festival, the grand feast called Onasadya is served on Thiruvonam day. In Onasadya, people of Kerala present meals in a nine course. This consists of eleven to thirteen basic Kerala dishes. Presentation of meal is called Onasadya that is served on banana leaves. Invited people heartily join this part of festival and sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal. This is truly an awesome experience for the people who join this wonderful part of occasion. Vallam Kali is another mesmerizing part in celebration of Onam. For showing vallamkali, people arrange the Snake Boat Race in river Pampa. It is really a colourful spectacle when hundreds of boatmen oar the decorated boat and enchant spectators who cheer them.
Playing games is also traditional for Malayalis in this festival. Performance and participation of people in games or sports is called Onakalikal. People vivaciously take part in vivid athletics like Talappanthukali which is played with ball, fighting called Attakalam, Kayyankali, and other sports like Archery called Ambeyyal.
Carnival of Onam: The wonderful sight for Tourists
Grand celebration of Onam really mesmerizes spectators and attracts thousands of tourists every year. The public administration is also not behind to economically support and promote the celebration of this festival. Due to helpful hands given by government, millions of foreign and domestic tourist visit Kerala during Onam and joyfully become part of this festival.
Legend associated to Onam
It is believed that King Mahabali was one of the legendary, prosperous, and affluent Emperor of Kerala. Even deities used to praise his fair deeds, and popularity of his regime. However, he was egoistic that became reason for loss of his regime. But due to his pious work, God blessed him that he would continue enjoying his boon of popularity. And therefore, every year people arrange enumerable feasts to welcome and delight him. As per conception of Keralites, spirit of Mahabali visits his state every year.