Onam Festival - Kerala

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Aug 22, 2023, 11:35

Onam Festival is a harvest festival, celebrated gloriously in Kerala. It lasts 10 days and is an amazing and stunning exhibition of Kerala's culture, traditions, and beauty. Onam is the largest festival in Kerala which is held in the Malayali month (August-Sept) of Chingham to commemorate the return of the legendary King Mahabali. The Kerala Harvest Festival, also known as the Rain flower Festival, is enthusiastically celebrated throughout Kerala.

The Celebration of the Onam Festival

Ceberations of the Onam Festival include welcoming songs for King Mahabali and include Sadya, Ona-thallus, Onavillu, Pookalam, Thiruvathira Kali, and Pulikali. The Onam Festival signifies the intricately yet beautifully designed Pookalam, the fragrant Onasadya, a magnificent snake boat race, and fascinating Kaikottikali dances which are the most famous and notable celebrations.

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Onam Festival Celebration and the Mahabali Legend

The Onam Festival is also celebrated in honour of King Mahabali, who visited "Kerala" during the Onam era. Kerala opens a whole new world of striking flavours, gorgeous aromas, and fascinating beauty exhibitions to tourists. Festival parties with the exhilarating beats of music make your body and soul dance to marvellous tunes.

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Inside Story of Onam Festival and Mahabali

Onam's history is related to King Mahabali and the golden age of his reign. The story behind the Onam Festival tells of the jealousy of the Mahabali gods. It's the story of Mahabali and Vamana Avatar.

To conclude, the Onam Festival is massively celebrated across the state and was also given the name of Maveli Onathappan to rever him for his generosity. The King is highly regarded by the locals, so people celebrate this festival with great zeal, fervour, and passion.

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FAQs on Onam festival

Q.1. When is Onam Festival celebrated?

Onam Festival is celebrated during Chingham (a month of the Malayalam calendar) which normally starts in mid-August and lasts until mid-September. The celebration usually lasts 10 days, and the people of Kerala indulge in several celebrations, good food, decorations, dances, soulful music, etc throughout the festival.

Q.2. How is Onam Festival celebrated?

The Onam Festival brings together the culture, history, colours, and beliefs of Kerala. Some of the major attractions and celebrations of the Onam Festival include Pookalam which is the display of a wonderful flower carpet, Puli Kali, boat races, banquet lunches, and Kaikottikkali dances

Q.3. Which are the famous Onam Festival dances that are performed during the festival?

Some of Kerala's best dances can be seen during the wonderful Onam Festival Carnival. It's a fascinating and rich Kerala folk culture and some of its major dance performances include:

  • Kummatti kali
  • Kathakali
  • Pulikali
  • Kaduvakali

Q.4. What is the most significant part of the Onam Festival?

Onam is a 10-day festival, and the most relevant day is Thiruvonam, which is the Nakshatra of Lord Vishnu who is known to suppress King Mahabali with his foot. Onam Festival celebrates the return of the demon king of mythology, Mahabali.

Q.5. When was Onam Festival celebrated in 2021 and when will it be celebrated in 2022?

The Onam Festival celebrations began on 12th August and ended on 23rd August in 2021 and will begin on the 22nd of September in 2022.

Q.6. In the context of the Onam Festival, what is Onasadia?

It is the most appealing and delightful part of the wonderful Onam Festival and is a magnificent meal prepared by any civilisation or culture in the world. Once you enjoy it, it's a feast that you can enjoy for years.

Q.7. What is the relevance of the Vallamkali boat race, during the Onam Festival?

The Snake Boat Race popularly called the Vallamkali is one of the most fascinating aspects of the Onam Festival. The event is touted as a major tourist attraction in Kerala and attracts many local and international tourists. Vallamkali has been around for years and is growing in popularity every year. Many of the achievements of the Snake Boat Race's success can be attributed to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was absorbed in this colourful event and won the racing trophy.

Q.8. What is the relevance of the Elephant procession in the Onam Festival?

Onam Festival's Spectrum gets its royal shadow at the Royal Elephant Ride in Thrissur, the cultural centre of Kerala. Decorated with gold, the favourite animal of the Indian royal family looks even more magnificent. And there are many of them.

Q.9. What does the Onam Festival mean?

Onam is a festival celebrated by Malayalis in Kerala or elsewhere in the world to commemorate the return of the great Mahabali King. It is also said to indicate the harvest season in Kerala. The Onam Festival lasts for 10 days and is celebrated with great splendour.

Q.10. Onam Celebrated in Which State?

Onam Festival is Celebrated by Malayalis in Kerala State.