Onam Festival

Last Updated on March 19, 2019

Onam Festival :

  • Onam is one of the famous national festivals in India
  • Onam is celebrated as a great traditional festival in the state Kerala; it is considered the state festival of Kerala
  • The festival falls in the Malayalam Month Chingam (August to September)
  • On this day, Malayalees believe that the great king Mahabali visits everyone’s home
  • People welcome King Mahabali with beautiful Pookolams (Flower Decorations) in front of their homes.

Onam Festival : (Short Essay)

Onam is the state festival of Kerala and one of the most popular festivals of our country. Onam festival is celebrated in the month Chingam, of the Malayalees’ calendar. This festival reminds and commemorates one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu – Vamana Avatar. On this day, people also wait for the home coming of the great King Mahabali. The period in which he ruled is considered a golden period in Kerala. As a mark of inviting him home, Malayalees draw big pookolams (Floral Decorations) in front of their homes. State holiday is declared for Malayalees on the Day of Onam.

Onam Festival : (Brief Essay)

Onam is a great festival of our country. Among the many festivals that our tradition celebrates, Onam can be considered as one of the colorful festivals. Onam is the state festival of Kerala. Irrespective of age, religion and occupation, people of Kerala celebrate Onam with great rejoice.

As we look through our ancient history, Onam was started as a celebration venerating one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu – Vamana. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a Brahmin and visited the Yaagam conducted by the great King of Kerala that time, Mahabali. Mahabali promised to give anything requested during the Yaagam. Vamana, the great Brahmin claimed 3 paces of land from Mahabali. The Brahmin grew so huge and claimed the Earth and Heaven with 2 footsteps. With one more footstep waiting to be given, Mahabali, one of the wise kings, as he promised gave himself to the Brahmin as a mark of his word. Once in a year, Mahabali promised to visit his people’s home and so came into custom the great festival, Onam.

Onam festival falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Sep). The festival is observed as a 10 day celebration. The 10 days of celebration can be named as follows:

  • Atham, the auspicious first day
  • Chithira, the Pookolam day
  • Chodhi, the designs in Pookolam get increased on this day
  • Visakam, a day with brisk activities
  • Anizham, the vallamkali day (boat race)
  • Thriketa, people get together at homes
  • Moolam, the day with enthusiasm about the celebration eve
  • Pooradam, on which clay idols are prepared by devotees
  • Uthradam, the day prior great Thiruvonam
  • Thiruvonam, the big day of the Festival

The 10 days of festival includes a big list of enthusiastic celebrations like Pulikali, Onathappan, Thumbi Thullal, Kazhchakkula, Onapottan, Atthachamayam, Onavillu and so on. Onam Sadya is served to friends and relatives home on the day of Thiruvonam.