The vibrant festival of Onam is one among the foremost popular and significant harvest festivals of Kerala. It’s essentially a ten day festival celebrated with great fervor everywhere the state between August and September. The festival is actually celebrated by the people to welcome the homecoming of their dearest legendry King Mahabali into their homes. It’s believed that the spirit of the king visits the homes of the people at the time of Onam. During the festival, various activities are organized like the racing , music, dance, fireworks and much more.
What are Rituals and History behind the Celebration of Onam Festival
According to the legend, within the past , Kerala was ruled by the demon King Mahabali. During his rule, everybody in his kingdom lived happier with zero feeling of hatred and there was people complete harmony. However, the Gods feared the wise king, thinking that he might become dominant and all-powerful at some point . They decided to hunt the assistance of the Lord Vishnu to suppress the powers of the king. Lord Vishnu took the shape of dwarf Brahmin (also referred to as the Vamana avatar of the Lord). Impressed with the knowledge and intelligence of the Brahmin, the king asked him to form a wish and he will fulfill it any cost.
The Vamana asked for the three foot of land and therefore the king agreed to offer an equivalent . At that point , the body size of the Brahmin grew larger and enormous . By one foot step, he measured the entire sky, in his second step, he covered the whole earth. The king directly understood that the Brahmin wasn’t a standard person and was Lord Vishnu himself. The third step of the Lord could have gone on to wreck the entire earth. To avert the grave danger or save the world , the king offered his head to the Lord to live . As soon because the Lord placed his foot over the King’s head he was pushed into the underworld (pataal). However, the king loved his people and was considerably attached to his kingdom. He was allowed by the Gods to go to his favorite kingdom once during a year. Onam is that the day, when the king is believed to return and visit the homes of the people.
Onam Celebrations – Reflections of Vivid Indian Culture
The celebrations of Onam last for the amount of ten days, which are referred to as – Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradom and Thiruvonam. It’s a practice to put a flower carpet referred to as the ‘Pookalam’ within the doorway of each home to welcome the king. the homes are cleaned, beautiful rangoli and lavish food is formed . Special pujas are organized within the temples and therefore the younger members of the family seek the blessings of the elder ones.
It is a ritual to organize the delicious twenty one homemade curries and sweet payasam. The food is served on the banana plant or plantain leaves. A remarkable procession of the sublimely improved elephants is held. The brilliant fireworks and famous Kathkali dance captivates the eye of the spectators. However, the most attraction of the festival is that the grand race , ‘Vallamkali’. The long splendid snake shaped boats called the ‘Chundans’ test the rowing skills and stamina of the contestants participating within the race. The cheers and loud noises of the spectators constantly encourage the contestants to win the race and obtain handsome rewards.
How to Reach Kerala
The enchanting state of Kerala can be reached through the two international airports, which are Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and Kochi International Airport. The airports have an excellent connectivity with the prominent cities and states of India like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and so on. Buses, private cabs and taxis are easily available from the airports to reach Kerala.
The Kerala railway station is interconnected with the prominent railways stations of India and the direct trains can be boarded from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and so on.
Karnataka and Tamilnadu are the two states that have direct road connectivity with Kerala. The state can also be reached by driving through the National Highways 17, 47 and 49.