Onam

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Detailed Information

Onam is a traditional harvest festival celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala. It is considered one of the most important festivals in Kerala and holds great cultural significance. Onam usually falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September) and lasts for ten days.

The festival is believed to commemorate the annual homecoming of King Mahabali, a mythical king who is revered for his benevolence and generosity. According to legend, King Mahabali ruled over Kerala in a period of great prosperity and harmony. The festival is celebrated to welcome the spirit of King Mahabali and to honor his memory.

Onam is marked by various festivities and customs. One of the highlights of the festival is the grand feast known as the Onam Sadhya. It is a traditional vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf and consists of several delicious dishes like rice, sambar, avial (mixed vegetables in coconut gravy), thoran (stir-fried vegetables), pappadam (papad), and payasam (a sweet dessert). The Sadhya is usually served in households and also in community gatherings.

Another significant aspect of Onam is the traditional dance form called the Thiruvathira Kali. It is a graceful group dance performed by women around a ceremonial lamp. The dancers wear traditional attire and dance in a circular formation, moving to the rhythm of traditional songs.

Onam is also known for its elaborate floral carpets called Pookkalam. These colorful and intricate designs are made using different varieties of flowers and are laid out in front of homes as a way to welcome King Mahabali.

Various other activities and events take place during Onam, such as Vallamkali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dance), folk performances, music, and cultural programs. People also adorn themselves in traditional attire, participate in games, and engage in merrymaking.

Onam is a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration in Kerala. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of the state and brings people together in a spirit of unity and harmony.

Contact Information
Kerala, India

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