The most popular festival of Kerala is Onam which is also known as state festival. In Kerala, generally 4 days of state holiday is announced which starts from the Onam Eve, known as Uthradom to the 3rd day of Onam festival. The festival of Onam is celebrated during August – September, which is popularly known as the Chingam month as per the Malayalam calendar. In Kerala, it is considered as a harvest festival due to the rich agrarian past of Kerala. This festival is celebrated for the remembrance of one of the Avatars of Lord Vishnu, i.e. Vamana Avatara. Some studies also represent that this festival is celebrated for the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali, Malayalees King. Keralites celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm along with the several cultural elements like Pookkalam, Thullal, Pulikkali, Vallam Kali, Onavillu, Onatthappan, Onapottan, and so on.
Onam Festival Dates 2018
This year Onam celebrated from August 15 to August 27. Currently Kerala is struggling with the flood situation and yet they will celebrate this festival with lots of positivity. Hope this festival brings happiness to Kerala people.
Importance of Onam in Kerala
Onam is a big as well as an ancient festival of the Kerala State has its own importance . This is a ten day festival in which many cultural and traditional programs are organized. During this festival time, entire Kerala is well decorated and will provide mesmerizing memories to its visitors. Tourists come here to cherish their colorful and energetic Onam celebration and to understand the culture of Kerala. Onam is one of the famous festivals of Kerala and people celebrates it with lots of fun.
The breathtaking Snake Boat Race and the Kaikottikali dance are the most important highlights of this festival. This harvest festival in Kerala is also known as the Festival of Rain Flowers because it falls during the month of Chingam. This festival is celebrated in the honor of the Malayalee King Mahabali who was so much attached to his kingdom and the other fact related to this festival is that it is a festival of Lord Vamana, called as Onatthappan. The Thiru-Onam day, which is a birthday of the Sri Padmanabhan is the most important day in the Onam Festival.
Onam is a festival of brotherhood in which people of all the castes, religion and communities celebrate this festival with equal pleasure and spirit. Many sports are also organized during this ten day festival and these sports are open for the all the people. The other best part of this festival is the secular fabric that represents the sense of equality. In short, it is a festival of peace, enjoyment and equality.
Kerala people celebrate this festival with huge passion and zeal. This festival is celebrated for ten days, the first day is called as Atham and the tenth day is called as Thiru-Onam. Pookalam, the floral carpet is the main ingredient of the celebration of the first day and each day passing many colorful flowers are added to this Pookalam. Many activities like dancing, music and so on are started from the day one. The last day is the biggest and most important day for the Onam festival. Thiru-Onam is the last but the most happening day of the throughout Onam festival. The most important attraction of this day festival is the delicious lunch, i.e. Onasadya.
There are various activities and rituals are performed in all over the state during Onam festival. The performers called as Pulikali paint themselves in the tiger look and act like a tiger for entertaining the audiences and the Kummattikali artists dress themselves with the grass plaited attire and the big mask made up of wood. Kathakali performers fascinate the audience with their magical performances. The popular boat race, i.e. Vallamkali and the various sports and games events, i.e. Onakalikal are organized in the various parts of the state. Swinging is also a tradition in the Onam festival. The spectacular preparation of the Onam festival attracts a large number of tourists from across the globe.