Onam festival: Just as the monsoon bid on the land of South India, with the arrival of Onam, the air is filled with excitement, joy and happiness, an important festival celebrated in Kerala. From densely adorned elephants to wild pulikali dancers, and giant snake boats on the shoreline to decorate the huge snake, the festival paints the state in more colors than you can imagine.
And with this detailed guide, start a journey to learn everything Onam festival It is celebrated not only in India but in different parts of the world.
About Onam Festival 2021
Welcoming the end of the monsoon and the harvest season, this Kerala festival, Onam 2021 is a Hindu festival celebrated throughout India, originating in the state of Kerala. One of the largest festivals in the state, Onam is celebrated for 10 days during the Malayalam month of Chingam which fills the hearts of people with gaiety, and brings them together to be a part of this vibrant and cultural festival. . The festival of Onam reflects Kerala’s traditions and culture in a most unique way. Onam festival date 2021 According to the release by the Ministry, the festival will be held from August 12, 2021 to August 23, 2021.
Importance of Onam Festival
The history of Onam festival dates back to the Sangam period, when Onam was celebrated for a month. According to ancient legends, this festival of rain flowers was celebrated to commemorate the arrival of the annual journey of the Asura king Mahabali from Patala (below the world). The story revolves around the time when Kerala was ruled by the demon king Mahabali (grandson of Prahlada), who was known for his generosity. Their increasing popularity became a threat to the gods and they came to Lord Vishnu to ask for help. Seeing their concern, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a poor Brahmin named Vamana.
When he reached the kingdom of the demon king, he asked Mahabali to give him the land which he could cover within three feet. Being a kind and benevolent person, the king expressed his wish and soon Vamana began to grow in size and his first and second steps covered the heavens and the earth. As the Brahmin was about to take the third step, the demon king stepped in and asked him to place his last step on his head, which led him to Patala. However, for the good works of Mahabali, Lord Vishnu granted him a boon that he could meet his people annually, due to which this festival was celebrated. Onam festival in India.
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Cultural Relevance of Onam Festival
Onam festival in Kerala Holds an important importance for Hindus, but the occasion is enjoyed by every religion. The grand celebrations and festivals of this ancient festival eliminate all religious disparities and spread harmony in the society. Apart from Hindu rituals, it is seen that the Christians of Kerala also celebrate this annual festival with great enthusiasm. His rituals include lighting of Nilavilakku, which is followed by an aarti and waving flowers over the Bible called Pushpavati. Along with this they also have a meal with Hindus which symbolizes the dialogue of brothers and sisters despite beliefs and beliefs. Onam festival traditional dress Kasavu is a saree and you will see all married women wearing these special sarees throughout the celebration.
6 events during Onam Festival
If you want to know what happens Onam festival in Kerala, Then we’ve made a list of all the events you can watch!
1. Tripunithura Athchayam
It is the first day of Onam which is celebrated with grandeur and enthusiasm. The day is filled with colorful openings, with a street parade. It includes different Kerala art forms, musicians, dancers and carnival floats and adorned elephants that walk the streets.
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2. Pookalam: The Floral Decoration and Arrangement
Onam festival Pookalam is also called the festival of flowers and one of the forms to celebrate this grand festival. It is referred to the ritual where people create designs on the floor and decorate it with various flowers, usually on door fronts and temples that look like a flower mat.
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3. Pulikali: The Grand Tiger Dance
Pulikali literally means ‘drama of the tiger’, which was started 200 years ago. The former king of Kochi carried forward the legacy of tiger dance, which reflects masculinity. Hundreds of people portray themselves for dancing and dress like tigers and later they dance to traditional music.
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4. Vallamkali: The Snake Boat Race
Another fascinating thing Onam festival Is a famous boat race that takes place in Kerala. The Vallamkali or snake boat race is held in a grand procession on the Pampa River, including the Aranmula Ustrathi Boat Race and the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. You will be thrilled after doing this so make sure it is included in your itinerary!
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5. Onam Sadya: Complete Food
A festival is incomplete without delicious food and Onam festival dinner One of its types and thus Onasadya or ‘Onam Parva’ is the main attraction of this 10 day festival. It is a nine-course meal consisting of 11–13 traditional dishes served on a banana leaf. Observed over the last two days, it is a form of worship that begins at 10 am and ends at 5 pm.
6. Folk Dance: Festival at its peak
Any festival is incomplete without a dance performance, and the Onam festival is no different. During the festival you can see many women performing folk dances. The dance form is cacotically during the praise of King Mahabali. It is a clap dance. Another dance form is Thumbi Thulali in which women dance in circles.
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Events Post Onam Festival
Is a major part of Onam Utsav After the end of Thiruvonam which is one and two days as the third and fourth Onam. The third day, called Evitam, marks the celebration of King Mahabali in heaven. The most important ritual of the day during this festival is the immersion of the Onathappan statue that takes place in the middle of every Pokalam during these 10 days, after which the Pokalam is cleaned.
Other customs on Onam function
- Amidst all the festivities, another important ritual is that people buy and wear new clothes called onakodi
- During Onam festival in Kerala, Hindus of Kerala establish and worship Thrikkara Appan or Onathappan in their homes
- Hindu temples in Kerala are decorated with lamps and a palmyra tree is planted in front of the temple, surrounded by wooden baltrades and dried palmyra leaves. Later it is lit to inform that King Mahabali went to Himala as a yajna.
- In rural areas, the swing is an integral part of the festival where the locals sing Onapatta or other Onam songs and push each other on the swing.
- Apart from all the cheerful activities, the handloom fair also promotes the spirit of Onam festival
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Frequently asked questions about Onam festival
Q. What are the dates of Onam 2021 in Kerala?
a. Onam will be celebrated from 12 August 2021 to 23 August 2021.
Q. What is the story of Onam festival?
a. It is a 10-day festival to commemorate the golden reign of the legendary ruler of Kerala, King Mahabali. According to folklore, the gods sent Vishnu as a dwarf Brahmin to defeat Mahabali. After defeating the ruler, Vishnu granted the king the only wish to visit his land for 10 days every year. These 10 days are celebrated every year in the state of Kerala as Onam.
Q. What is the significance of Onam festival?
a. Onam is the largest festival in Kerala celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, who is believed to visit Kerala during the 10-day festival.
Q. Which dance is performed during Onam?
a. The traditional dance of Kerala is performed on Kathakali Onam.