New Delhi: Kerala’s traditional harvest festival, Onam has commenced today. In Kerala, it is the largest celebration. It marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali, which occurs in the Malay month of Chingam (Aug.–Sep.). It is an enthusiastic celebration of Malayali culture and heritage.
When Is Onam Being Celebrated This Year?
This year, Onam celebrations will start on Tuesday, August 30, and Onam, or Thiruvonam will fall on Thursday, September 8. Thiruvonam Nakshathram will start at 4:00 PM on September 7, 2022, and end at 1:46 AM on September 8, 2022, according to Drik Panchang.
Significance Of Festival Onam:
Onam festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala. It is a Malayali festival that is celebrated by native Malayalis. Onam day is decided based on Solar Calendar. The Malayalam Solar Calendar’s Chingam month is when Onam is observed. In various solar calendars, the Chingam month is referred to as Simha month and as Avani month in the Tamil calendar. Onam festivities are held on the day that Nakshatra Thiruvonam rules in the month of Chingam. In Hindu calendars, Thiruvonam Nakshatra is referred to as Shravana.
The celebration honours the arrival of the Asura King Mahabali and the advent of Vishnu’s Vamana avatar. Onam commemorates the annual visit of Patala’s Asura King Mahabali (the underworld). On the day of Thiruvonam, Asura King Mahabali is said to meet his subjects in each Malay home.
Onam festivities begin on Atham day (the day that Atham Nakshatra prevails) and last for 10 days until Thiruvonam day. In various Hindu calendars, Atham Nakshatra is referred to as Hasta Nakshatra.
The best of Malayali history and culture is on display during the ten-day Onam celebrations. Kerala’s harvest festival, Onam, is renowned for its exquisitely decorated Pookalam, mouthwatering Onasadya, breathtaking Snake Boat Race, and distinctive Kaikottikali dance. These are only a few of the top attractions of this festival. The festivities culminate on the auspicious day of Thiruvonam, bringing together a wide variety of hues and flavours from all throughout the state.
Rituals Associated With Onam:
Kerala celebrates Onam, the rice harvest celebration. Every one of Onam’s ten festival days has a special meaning.
The “pookkalam” floral patterns that are distinctive to this festival serve as its emblem. In order to invite King Mahabali to their home, ladies members of the household typically create various patterns on the ground using flowers and lit lamps. People give and wear “Onakkodi,” or new clothing.
On this occasion, lavish feasts are prepared. This is referred to as “onam sadya,” typically 13 dishes are made for this. Rice is frequently served with other meals, pickles, and papads and is served on banana leaves. During Onam, a special sweet dish called “payasam” is an essential item, it is prepared with ingredients like rice, milk, sugar, and coconut.
The boat race known as Vallamkali, which is related to the festival of Onam, is now a major occasion in Kerala. Numerous large boats in the form of snakes compete with one another. Huge sums of money are given out as prizes to the victors.
Processions for Onam are known for their ornamented elephants. At households, Vaman Vishnu or Thrikkakara Appan statues are erected for worship. Onam is celebrated with a variety of cultural activities, including the traditional Kathakali dance, music, art, and cuisine.
During Onam, it’s typical to see dancers doing the Pulikali dance who have been specially painted in yellow and black to resemble tigers. Since this is the ideal time of year to visit the state, Kerala has designated this week as Tourism Week. Due to the fact that Onam brings together residents of all faiths in the state, it is particularly significant. It propagates the idea of societal harmony and peace.