Onam 2016

Essential Guide to Onam 2016 Festival in Kerala. Onam 2016 celebrates on September 13, 2016

When and How to Celebrate Onam, the harvest Festival in Kerala?

Onam is the most popular harvest festival in Kerala. It is a 10 day festival celebrated for the loving memory of the mythical King Mahabali. This festival is rich in heritage and culture. Most of the Malayalees who live outside the state find time to visit their home during this time in order to celebrate this festival.

When to celebrate Onam?

Onam 2016 celebrate in the month of Chingam, the first month as per the Malayalam calendar. Even though it is a 10-day celebration, the main festival comes on Thiruonam.  The rituals start 10 days before the main Onam on the day of Atham.  Onam will celebrate this year on September 14.

The main festival Thiruvonam celebrates in a big way. In fact, the preparations for Thiruvonam even start from the previous day, Uttradam. It is the first day of Onam and this year it will be on September 13. The 3rd and 4th Onam will fall on September 15 & 16 respectively. In fact, the festivities continue all these days.

Where to celebrate Onam ?

Onam is the main festival of Kerala, the South Indian state. The celebrations of this festival are outstanding for their splendor especially in the areas like Trivandrum, Kochi, Thrissur and Kottayam.

The Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple, also known as the Thrikkakara temple mainly associates with this festival. It is near Kochi almost 15 kilometers away of Ernakulam. Dedicated to Lord Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple is also an abode of King Mahabali. The reign of this generous king was considered as the Golden period of the state. However, the gods grew disturbed about the popularity and power of him. So, Lord Vishnu took its 5th incarnation and said to have sent him with his foot to the underworld. In fact, Thrikkakara temple locates at the place where this occurred.

Before going to the underworld, King Mahabali asked a favor from Lord Vamana. He asked to visit Kerala once a year in order to see his people and ensure that they were still content, well fed and happy. The lord granted his wish and it is believed that the king visit ever year during Onam to see the people in the land.

The government of Kerala also celebrates Tourism Week during this festival. This is the right time to watch the rich culture and heritage of the state.

How to celebrate Onam 2016?

People engage in many fun-filled activities during Onam. They put different flower patterns in front of their houses in order to welcome the King. Women wear traditional attires and perform Thiruvathira dance around traditional brass lamp. Elaborate feasts serve on banana leaves on the day of Thiruvonam. Beautiful dances, folk songs, energetic games and boat races are also a part of this festival.

What Rituals perform during Onam?

Onam is such a harvest festival that celebrates with striking magnificence. People follow several rituals during this festival. Of all these ten days of festival, the first day, Atham and the last day, Thiruvonam are more important.  People begin their day with an early bath on the first day of Atham. After prayers, they create beautiful floral patterns in front of their houses. In fact, a portion of the ground cleaned and then smeared the area with cow-dung before making those patterns. They put such amazing floral decorations all the 10 days up to Thiruvonam. Many organizations coordinate competitions for such floral decorations.

Onam celebrations start on Atham at Thrikkakara Temple also with a special flag ceremony. There are music, dance and cultural performances all these 10 days.  There is a grand procession, Pakalpooram, on the day before Thiruvonam. It is certainly a highlight of this festival in Kerala. The Vamana, the main deity of the temple carried on an elephant around the temple. A group of caparisoned elephants follow the procession.

Each day of celebration has its own traditional importance. Temple authorities perform different rites during these days involving the main and other deities at the temple. The main deity, Vamana decorate in the form of one of his 10 incarnations on each day of this 10 days festival.

Even if many cooking takes place during the festival of Onam, the grand Onam Sadya is the highlight of it. It served on a banana leaf on the Thiruvonam day. Elaborate and assorted cuisines are the attraction of this feast. You can visit the Thrikkakara Temple if you wish to enjoy an Ona Sadya. In fact, thousands of people visit the temple on this day to enjoy the feast. Many quality hotels in Trivandurum and Kochi also serve it with special dishes.

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