Onam is the most favorite festival of Kerala and is celebrated all across the state. The festival is celebrated in high spirit and faith in the legendary past. The people of Kerala are very religious and pious and they perform all the rituals and prayers in the manner set by their ancestors.
Onam coincides with the harvesting season during the months of August and September. The season is the harbinger of goodness and joy and people of Kerala celebrate it to offer their thanks to God for the bountiful after a year of hard work. The entire state of Kerala looks enchanting and radiant.
The festival is eagerly awaited by everyone especially children. It is that time of the year when they get multiple gifts and presents. It is also a time of family reunions as people staying away and abroad come back to Kerala to be with their families to celebrate Onam.
Visit from Friends and Family
Onam is essentially the celebration of King Mahabali’s spirit who is said to visit Kerala during this time. According to legend, this demon king dearly loved his kingdom and his people that he asked the Gods to allow him to visit them once a year. Onam is the celebration of this yearly visit of King Mahabali. The people of Kerala affectionately call him Maveli or Onathappan.
Women make grand arrangements and decoration for Onam. Pookalam – floral designs are put up in front of houses, a grand feast made up of up to 13 delicious dishes and classical dances are performed to celebrate Onam.
Spirit of Unity and Togetherness
Irrespective of caste and religion, everyone in Kerala celebrates Onam. It is a community festival and everyone eagerly joins in to celebrate with as much pomp and fanfare are possible. The various team games, sports, races and dances held during Onam bring about an atmosphere of peace and community spirit.
Kerala is replete with a diverse culture and during Onam the rich and multifaceted activities can be seen across the state. During the ten days of Onam, massive and intricate designs of Pookalam are put up, a number of sports and combats competitions are held by communities, traditional, classical, and folk and drama styled dances and arts are performed by the people.