Here comes Onam!

Hello gurls and guys of all ages! Okay let me apologize again for not publishing anything last week. I swear I was so busy. Let me summarize my busy days as shortly as possible: –

Me - Leader (lol) - group of 26 - group activity - Roleplay - settling accounts

Yup. And I survived 😀

Anyway, today I’m going to introduce you to a festival celebrated in Kerala, India (YUSS, I’m a Indian Mallu Boo!). Consider this as a short guide about EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ONAM and WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT KERALA DURING ONAM

Intro?

Onam is a religious, cultural and harvest festival celebrated in Kerala during August – September and celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm among different communities. It lasts for 4-10 days, the first day being Atham and 10th day being Thiruonam.

Any Legend?

YUPPERS! There was a Asura (Demon) King Mahabali who used to rule Kerala. Everyone was happy and the kingdom was prosperous, also called the Golden Era our state. When Mahabali defeated Gods, they approached Lord Vishnu to help him defeat Mahabali. Instead Lord Vishnu decided to test Mahabali’s devotion towards him. So Lord Vishnu took avatar of a Dwarf boy Vamana and approached King Mahabali while he was doing Yajna (homa sacrifices).King Mahabali already declared that he will grant anyone any request during Yajna, Vamana asked for  property right over a piece of land that measures “three paces” and Mahabali agreed. The Vamana grew and covered everything Mahabali ruled over in just two paces. For the third pace, King Mahabali offered himself, an act which Vishnu accepted as evidence of King Mahabali’s devotion. Vishnu granted him a boon, by which King Mahabali could visit again, once every year, the lands and people he previously ruled and was attached to.

Vamana

What are special stuffs done on Onam?

Again I tell you, if you want to see how onam is celebrated, you must visit Kerala to enjoy it truly.

  1. Vallamkali (Snake Boat Race) : It is held on the river Pampa. A very beautiful sight to see the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen 150 men of which four are helsmen, 25 men are singers and 125 are the actual oarsmen  while chanting the songs and cheering by spectators. It is depiction of team spirit. A single mistake can create imbalance and overturn the boat.

Kerala-Boat-race

2. Dress Code: White and off white with golden border is the traditional color that is worn during this occasion, the color of the blouse can be any but green and red are one of the most attractive colors. The classic matching color which is same as of the saree’s color is also a good choice. On the occasion of onam, white-colored mundu or dhoti with kasavu border combined with a white-colored shirt or kurta is the favourite of all men.

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3. Pookalam: Pookalam is an intricate and colourful arrangement of flowers laid on the floor. Tradition of decorating Pookalam is extremely popular in Kerala and is followed as a ritual in every household during ten-day-long Onam celebrations. Girls prepare elaborate Pookalams in front of courtyard of house to welcome their most loved King.

pookalam-onam-coconut

Yup. Flowers, leaves, creativity, hard work but lots of love. You can find more.

4. Extracurricular Activities: Haha, don’t laugh! I didn’t know what to call it exactly, but this festival involves series of games like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. While women with all the grace perform Thumbi Thullal and my personal favorite Kaikotti kali.

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5. Onasadya: Any guesses what it means? Like any other popular festival, Onam has a great feast too! Called Onasadya. And you should definitely try it. It is prepared on Thiruonam (Yes, the tenth day, but its worth it). The last day of Mahabali’s stay is remembered with a nine-course vegetarian Onasadya feast consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes.  It is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal. It generally includes banana chips, Pappadam, Thoran, Avial, Sambhar, Rasam, Pulliseri (also known as Velutha curry), Pachadi, Moru (curd with water), pickles and many more things. (I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, but you’ll soon).

14onam-sadya

Aye Hawkeye! Noticed that creamy thingy in the glass with almonds on it? Its the BOSS! BOSS! Its Payasam babe. (Called Kheer in North India!) The feast ends with Payasam, a dessert made of milk, sugar or jaggery.

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So this is the Payasam/Kheer/ Whatever you call it in your location made by mom today. There are various types of Payasam too! This one is made from Semiya (Vermicelli) my personal favorite. Its so yummy.

I don’t know how many of you know this but Government of India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colorful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates ‘Tourist Week’ for Kerala during Onam celebrations. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam. And let me tell you Kerala is really beautiful place. You must visit it almost every year. (Do I sound like a telly shop ad model?) Anyway, its your wish. Let me remind you that I didn’t cover all the facts about onam. Maybe sometime soon. Catch you guys later. Byeeee!

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One Reply to “Here comes Onam!”

  1. kudos !!
    first of all i’d like to thank you for putting something so beautiful in your blog and making all of us (non-mallus) aware about the festival Onam.
    really enjoyed reading about this amazing festival with such good details, just in one post you’ve put almost everything that will tempt anyone to go and visit Kerala during the next year’s Onam festival.
    overall great post
    i look forward to read more amazing fresh posts from you !
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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