The Onam festival is one of the largest Hindu festivals celebrated in the state of Kerala. According to the Malayalam calendar, the festival falls in the month of Chingam and according to the Hindi calendar, in the Trayodashi of Shravan Shukla, which falls in August or September according to the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is celebrated in memory of King Mahabali and there is a legend on this day that the soul of King Bali comes to Kerala on the day of Onam. The festival is a public holiday throughout the state of Kerala and a variety of cultural and recreational programs are planned.
Onam 2021 – (Onam Festival 2021)
In 2021, the Onam festival will be celebrated from August 12, Thursday to August 23, Monday.
Why is Onam celebrated?
Onam is one of the largest Malayal festivals and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by almost all Malaysians living in the country and abroad. Although Onam’s most important event is held in Kerala, the festival is also celebrated with great pride in many other provinces. In general, the Onam festival is celebrated as a celebration of the harvest of new crops in the fields.
Apart from this, another special feature of the festival is that on this day people did not worship in temples, but in their own homes. However, with this, the story of myths is also associated with this festival. As a result, the Malayalees have great respect for the festival.
It is believed that King Mahabali King Vishnu took from him the Vamana avatar and measured three worlds in three steps. That the king of Asuraraj Mahabali was king of Kerala and this festival of Onam was dedicated to him. It is believed that for three days at these festivals, King Mahabali comes to earth from Patallok and brings joy and happiness to his people with new plants. This is why people make statues of King Baal in the courtyards of their homes during the festival.
How To Celebrate Onam ?
The Onam festival is celebrated by the Malay people with great pride and enthusiasm. In Kerala, people started preparing for the festival ten days in advance. During this time people are cleaning their houses. On this day, the people who celebrate the festival of Onam make beautiful rangoli from wildflowers in the backyard of their homes, in the local language, these rangolis are called ‘Pookalam’.
In line with this, the people also put a statue of King Mahabali in their homes at this time because people believe that during the feast of Onam, King Bali returns from earth to Hades to meet his people. This statue of King Bali is placed in the center of Poolakam and the Vamana avatar of King Vishnu.
The flower arrangement lasts for eight days and on the ninth day, an idol of Lord Vishnu is made and worshiped throughout the house. On this day, women dance and sing applause around it while worshiping Vishnu. The idols of Ganesha and Shravan were made at night. After this, the children sing a song reserved for the Vamana avatar. The lamps are lit in front of the idols, after worship, the idols are immersed on the tenth day.
Along with worship, the Onam festival is also famous for its food. Various types of dishes are prepared at home during this festive season. This is one reason why children are so excited about this festival. Usually on this day dishes like pachadi-pachadi Kallam, dao, ghee, Kollam, sambar, etc. are prepared, which are served with banana leaves. Cooking dishes prepared by Onam Nimboodiri reflect the diversity of the Brahmins ’diet, which serves to reflect their culture. In many places, eighteen kinds of dairy dishes are served on this day.
As well as celebrating the day, dances such as Kathakali dance, Kumtattikali (imask dance), Pulikali dance (dance made of a lion’s robe), etc. are designed to entertain people. In line with this, boat races and a variety of sports are also organized on this day.
Onam Special Feast
The Onam festival is famous for its various cultures as well as for its food and drink. Along with various entertainment activities, special dishes are prepared for this occasion. Details of some of these great meals are given below.
Modern-Day Onam Culture
Many changes have taken place in the festival of Onam than ever before. Nowadays, man is now surrounded by busyness, because the true meaning of the whole festival is lost. Now all the festivals are just in name and the same thing happened to Onam.
Now the people can no longer see the same zeal as before for the festival of Onam. In the past, people used to celebrate this day with their family members but now due to living in cities, most people are not able to celebrate this day with their families.
The festival shows the intimate message of how King Bali should come once a year to meet his people because of his love for his studies. Similarly, we should also try to celebrate the Onam festival with our family members.
Significance of the Onam Festival
The Onam festival is the most important festival in the state of Kerala, celebrated by almost all Malayalees living in the country and abroad. The significance of this festival can be compared to the fact that in Kerala the festival is viewed in much the same way as in Dussehra and Deepawali in North India.
During this festival, people clean and decorate their homes in a beautiful way. Along with this, many fun programs such as boating, Kathakali, and singing are also planned during this time. On this day many special dishes are cooked at home.
On Onam’s day, people do not go to temples to worship, but on this day they worship in their own homes. The Malayalam people believe that house worship on this day brings prosperity to the house. In line with this, it is also believed in this festival that at the time of Onam, King Baal came to earth from Hades and brought joy to his people.
In fact, Onam is a festival where the new harvest is ready in Kerala and because India has been an agricultural country since ancient times, that is why this day is celebrated with such splendor.
History of the Onam Festival
Just as all countries celebrate their traditional festivals, so the Onam festival is celebrated in Kerala. The ceremony is held in memory of King Mahabali of Kerala. The most popular story about this festival is that-
In ancient times, King Mahabali was a noble king of modern-
day Kerala and had a deep affection for his people. Besides being a donor, he was very powerful. He had conquered all three worlds with his muscular strength, then his grandfather Shukracharya advised him to make hundreds of Ashwamedha Yagyas and to take the position of Indra and to be king of Triloka forever. On his orders, King Bali began to make 100 Ashvamedha Yagyas and its 99 Yagyas were safely completed.
But before the completion of 100 Yagya, King Vishnu appeared in the form of Vamana and asked King Bali for three steps of the world, but King Bali did not know that King Vishnu himself stood before him in the Vamana avatar. When King Bali accepted his request, King Vishnu took the position of Vamana and measured the whole world in two steps and when asked for the location of the third step, King Bali said Lord, keep the third step in your head. Nika.
When Lord Vamana took the third step, King Baal went to Hades. Rejoicing in the offering and dedication of King Baal, Lord Vishnu asked him for a blessing. The king of Baal then said, ‘O Lord, I want to meet my people once a year.’ From then on it is believed to be the festival of Onam, when King Baal came to meet his people. This is one reason why the festival of Onam is celebrated with such splendor in Kerala.