New Delhi: Onam is a festival that is celebrated throughout the state of Kerala. Onam is marked by happiness, excitement, and enjoyment among all sections of people. The celebration of Onam is a result of historical agrarian customs and mythological themes.
Onam 2022: Significance:
According to the Malayali calendar month of Chingam, Onam celebrations, which occur on the 22nd Nakshatra Thiruvonam, mark the beginning of the Malayam year, known as Kolla Varsham. This year, the festival started on August 30 and will be concluded on Tursday, September 8. It begins on the day known as Atham and ends on the tenth day, known as Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam, which is considered the most auspicious day during the festival of Onam. It is one of the biggest celebrations and it represents the return of King Mahabali. It is primarily observed by Malayalis and Keralites for ten days.
King Mahabali, according to Vaishnava mythology, overthrew the Gods and took control of all three planets (teen lokas). He belonged to the asura tribe. He was kind-hearted and loved and respected by his people. However, the Gods were concerned about King Mahabali and turned to Lord Vishnu for assistance. Lord Vishnu intervened and helped restrain King Mahabali. In his fifth incarnation, Lord Vishnu visited King Mahabali as the dwarf Brahmin Vamana. Know for his generousity, the King asked him what he desired Vamana answered “three paces of land”. Vamana spanned the sky with his first step and the netherworld with his second step.
As King Mahabali realised that Vanama is Lord Vishnu, he presented his head to God as the Lord prepared to take the third step. Lord Vishnu was moved by the deed and granted King Mahabali permission to visit his realm and subjects once a year during the Onam celebrations.
Onam 2022: Rituals
Devotees get up early, take a bath, and dress in clean clothes during the 10-day celebrations. They then erect Vaman Vishnu or Thrikkakara Appan idols and worship Lord Vishnu. On the east side of their dwellings, women draw Pookkalam (floral designs) and light oil lamps. Traditional Onam songs known as Onappattukal are sung to welcome King Mahabali.
People gather their family and friends for a traditional feast called Onam Sadya on the third day of Onam. They prepare and serve 26 different dishes on banana leaves, including rice, kalan, olan, Kootu curry, avial, rasam, vegetable curry, curd, and payasam. The ingredients for payasam, which is regarded as a must-have dish, include milk, rice, sugar, and coconut.
A swing is hung from a tree’s high branch as part of a swinging ceremony on Thiru Onam, the last day of Onam. Women dress up the swing with flowers and ride it while singing.