Onam is the greatest, and the most significant festival celebrated in the state of Kerala. It is a har-vest festival celebrated with delight and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communi-ties.
The Carnival of Onam lasts between four to ten days. The first day, Atham and the tenth day, Thiru Onam, are the most essential of all. Popularity and presentation of the state’s rich culture during the carnival made Onam – the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Embellished feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers are all part of the dynamic festival called Onam.
The story goes that during the reign of the mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Everybody in the state was happy and prosperous, and the king was highly obeyed by his subjects. For all the good deeds done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached. It is this visit of Mahabali that is cele-brated as Onam every year.
The most enchanting feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen along with the chanting of songs and cheering by spectators. Another blissful aspect of this festival is the Onam Sadhya. It is basically a feast comprising all types of vegetarian dishes. It is quite lavish and is served on the last day of the festival. A bountiful variety of dishes are prepared, and people serve them on banana leaves.
Onam is a festival that unites the people, forms a sense of harmony, and erases all the human boundaries we have created. People celebrate this beautiful festival with zeal and enthusiasm and enjoy the days to the fullest each year.
Evergreen Publications wish you and your family a very Happy Onam!