Onam is the festival that brings together all communities in Kerela. On this day, religion, caste or creed is not of importance. One of the most popular festivals of India, people celebrate it with great zeal. Similarly, activities of this festival are famous all over India for their grand scale and delicious food. We will take a look at the various festivities and celebrations like Onam Pookalam and more.
The Story Behind Onam
The harvest festival of Onam generally begins between August end and the start of September. In other words, during the Malayalam month of Chingam. We celebrate the festival to welcome the mythical King Mahabali.
It is believed that his spirit visits the state in the duration of Onam. The festival originates from the ancient times of Lord Vishnu. One day, he transformed himself into a dwarf Brahmin, Vamana.
In this avatar, he went to attend the Yaagam which King Mahabali was hosting. Thus, Vamana made a request for three feet of land. King Mahabali obliged for the same. However, then the dwarf started to grow bigger in size claiming the Earth and heaven.
As the dwarf covered the whole land, sparing nothing, King Mahabali made an offer of his own head to keep his word. However, he kept a condition that he would be allowed to visit people’s homes every year once. Thus, we celebrate it as King Mahabali’s homecoming.
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Festivities of Onam
People all over Kerala celebrate this festival for ten days. Each day of this festival carries unique importance. Thus, people celebrate each of them uniquely. The celebrations reflect the rich culture and history of Kerala. In other words, this festival is no less than a carnival of 10 days in the state.
The Onam dance is quite popular throughout the country. Some of the traditional ones that people perform are Kathakali, Pulikali/Kaduvakali, Kummatti Kali, Kaikotti Kali and more.
Similarly, the traditional snake boat race is also a major attraction during the festival. We refer to it as Vallamkali. There are 100 men on each boat who do the rowing. The race occurs at the River Pampa. Other popular races include Nehru Trophy Boat Race and the Uthrattathi Boat Race.
Another important aspect of this festival is the Onam Sadhya. It is basically a feast containing all types of vegetarian dishes. It is quite lavish and is served on the last day of the festival. A huge variety of dishes are prepared and people serve them on banana leaves.
Further, there is Onam Pookalam that is basically flower carpets. People make the flower decorations in front of their houses for welcoming King Mahabali.
All in all, Onam is a festival that unites all the people of Kerala. It is a festival that erases all the boundaries we have created. People celebrate it with joy and zeal and enjoy the days to the fullest each year.
FAQ of Essay on Onam
Question 1: Why do we celebrate Onam?
Answer 1: The harvest festival generally begins between August end and the start of September. In other words, during the Malayalam month of Chingam. We celebrate the festival to welcome the mythical King Mahabali.
Question 2: How do educational institutions celebrate Onam?
Answer 2: The educational institutions plan a lot of activities for this festival. Their aim is to make students familiar with the festival and culture. They conduct speeches, essays, flower decoration competitions making during the festival.
Question 3: What is Onam Pookalam?
Answer 3: Pookalam is basically flower carpets. People make the flower decorations in front of their houses for welcoming King Mahabali.