2018 Onam- Significance, Story, Onam Foods, Onam Traditions And Events
Onam is celebrating every year at the beginning of the month of chingam, it is the month of August or September month. Onam is a ten days festival to showing out the happiness engaged among the people during king mahabali‘s period. People of Kerala celebrate Onam with gaiety and fervour. The first day of celebration is Atham and continuing till tenth day called Thiru Onam.
This Onam festival attracts thousands of tourists from across the country. The immense popularity of the festival is further promoted by the Government of India by celebrating Kerala Tourism Week during the time of Onam.
Significance and story of Onam festival:
The day of Onam is celebrating the legend of King Mahabali who is the honour ruler of Kerala, in whose honour Onam is celebrated.
People believing that it was this particular day in the month of Chingam when Lord Vishnu took his fifth avatar as Vaamana appeared in the kingdom of King Mahabali and sent him to the nether world.
People believe that it is on the last day, Tiruonam the day which represents the spirit of King Mahabali visits Kerala, hence the day is marked by feast and festivities. Devotees of Mahabali celebrate the golden era witnessed in Mahabali’s reign during Onam. To welcome their revered ruler, people lay flower mats (Pookalam) in the front courtyard, prepare a grand meal (Onasadya), dance. All this is done because to express King Mahabali’s people are prosperous and happy.
Ten days of Onam 2018 Dates:
|Atham – (August 15, 2018) – King Mahabali is believed to have started preparing to return to visit his kingdom in Kerala. People begin the day with an early bath, followed by temple visits and prayers.|
|Chithira – (August 16, 2018) – pookalams, using mostly orange and creamy yellow flowers.|
|Chodhi – (August 17, 2018) – shopping time for People begin buying new clothes, jewelry, and gifts.|
|Vishakham – (August 18, 2018) – housewives visit the markets to stock up on ingredients to make the elaborate Onam meal|
|Anizham – (August 19, 2018) – snake boat races kick-off across the state. At Aranmula as a rehearsal for the race that’s held there after the main day of Onam.|
|Thriketa – (August 20, 2018) – people start visiting their families and fresh flowers continue to be added to pookalams|
Moolam – (August 21, 2018) – People also decorate swings with flowers to celebrate the king’s homecoming
Like these, every day of Onam festivals has flower mats with complete celebrations of full enjoyment.
|Pooradam – (August 22, 2018)|
|Uthradom – (August 23, 2018)|
|First Onam/Uthradom – August 24, 2018|
|Second Onam/Thiruonam – August 25, 2018) – the day of Mahabali will come to see his people. (Thiruonam)The Onam day.|
|Third Onam/Avvittom – August 26, 2018|
|Fourth Onam/Chatayam – August 27, 2018|
What is Thiruonam? Celebration of Thiruonam
Onam carnival continues for ten days, starting from the day of Atham (start making of Onam pookolam) and culminating on Thiru Onam. Atham and Thiru Onam are the most important days for Onam festivities. The day of Atham is decided by the position of stars. Atham is regarded as auspicious and holy day by people of Kerala.
Activities begin early in the morning. People clean their house, take an early bath, wear new clothes and participate in special prayers organized in individual homes and then in local temples. Later, Onam Pookolam which is the main highlight of Onam is prepared to welcome Mahabali.
In the noon the grand feast of Onam called Onasadya is prepared. The strictly vegetarian meal consists of 10 to 13 mandatory dishes and is served on a banana leaf. The eldest member of the family presents gifts and new clothes to the family members. Women would wear onam saree (white with golden pattu borders) and men would wear dhoties. Women and elders would sing Onam songs to portray mahabali kingdom and his rule, happiness held among the people when he was a king, even absence of him.
Cultural events and Activities of Onam:
Many cultural events are organized all over the state like Dances, games, shows and get together are the other highlights of the day.
Pulikali performers paint themselves in the appearance of a tiger and enact hunting scenes to entertain people.
Kummattikali artists have an attire of plaited grass and big wooden mask. They move from house to house collecting small gifts and amusing children.
At Thrissur, caparisoned elephants move out in a procession and present a magnificent view.
Kathakali artists cast a spell on the audience with the magic of their performance. Women perform their graceful traditional clap dance, Kaikotikalli on the day and fascinated the attention of the audience.
Vallamkali, the popular snake boat race is also organized in several parts of the state to mark the day.These are collectively called Onakalikal.
**This article taken from own knowledge and variant sources