Introduction to the Onam in Kerala
Of all the festivals that are celebrated in the state of Kerala, it
is Onam which is marked by the greatest of ostentation and ceremony.
The ambience is colored with the same cheer that fills the people's
History of the Onam in Kerala
There is a very interesting story that is associated with the
celebration of Onam in Kerala. Legend says that there was a very just
and good king in Kerala. This king Mahabali was genuinely concerned
about the welfare of his people. His subjects not only owed allegiance
to him but also loved and respected him. This mutual relationship
of love and harmony made the Gods in heaven jealous for King Mahabali
belonged to the demon race.
They were very desperate and urged Lord Vishnu to consider the matter.
In the guise of a dwarf, Lord Vishnu went to the royal court of Mahabali
begging for alms. When asked by the king, he said that he would like
to have only that much as he could cover by his foot. The king was
deceived because he thought that the steps of a dwarf would cover
very little area. However Lord Vishnu covered the land and the sea
with one step, his second step incorporated the heavens and his third
the head of the king.
However the king was granted one wish which is that he could return
to his beloved people once each year. Onam is celebrated to welcome
this king who is fondly remembered to this day.
Description of the Onam in Kerala
There are several customs and traditions that are associated with
the festival of Onam. The houses are cleaned and the courtyards are
beautifully decorated with designs made of flowers (pookkalam). In
the evenings, oil lamps illuminate the courtyards. Women are seen
performing the Thiruvathirakali dance around the lamps.
People wear new dresses. A grand lunch forms part of the festivities.
The sweet dish Payasam is an important item in the menu. Many boat
races are also organized when this festival is celebrated in Kerala.
Each and every household in Kerala enthusiastically participate in
the high spirited merriment. The ceremonial elegance and splendor
of Onam is unmatched by any other Kerala festival.
Time for celebrating the Onam in Kerala
Onam is celebrated each year in the Malayalam Month of Chingam.
This falls either at the end of the month of August or in the beginning
of the month of September.
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Kettuvallams, the stitched boats are the traditional
house boats of Kerala. They provide the best way to experience
the colourful backwaters of Kerala. The Kettuvalloms of
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part of the picturesque backwaters of Kerala, was mainly
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The rich and glorious Kerala cultural heritage is
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the people of Kerala, South India.The festivals of Kerala,
South India are annual occasions that are celebrated for
commemorating religious occasions. Some of the popular
Kerala festivals are Onam, Vishu, Mahasivarathri, Asthami
Rohini, Thiruvathira, Pooram Festival and Thrissur Pooram.
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