Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities.Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of "Chingam", the first month of Malayalam calendar.
According to the popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali,whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.Story goes that during the reign of King Mahabali,everybody was happy and prosperous and King was highly regarded by his subjects.But king was egoistic.This weakness in his character was utilized by Godâs to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabaliâs popularity.However,for all good deed done by Mahabali,God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people.
Carnival of Onam lasts from 4 to 10 days.First day,ATHAM and the tenth day,THIRUVONAM. The most impressive part of Onam is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruvonam. It is 9 cource meal consisting of 11 to 13 dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves. Women make flower mates calledâPookalamâ in front of their houses.They also play traditional games. Another beautiful feature of Onam is âVallom Kaliâ,Snake Boat Race.
This festival is also important because of its secular character.It is celebrated with equal fervor by the Hindus,Muslims,Christians.
LIA MARIA VARGHESE
Std V - L