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India | Kerala

Onam



Onam is the main festival in Kerala. This harvest celebration is held in the month of 'Chingam' (around August-September). The season is a riot of colors with gaiety and fun peaking in 'Thiruvonam,' the tenth day of 'atham.' Floral mounds called the 'Athappookkalam' (floral motifs on atham day) are for children while the adults have their performances like 'Kaikottikali' (rhythmic clapping dance). The entire region dons a new look with people in new clothes beautifying houses and its premises. Another significant feature is the sumptuous 'Onasadya' (Feast on Onam), a rally point for the entire family. It is a festival of togetherness, happiness and sharing.

Legend has it that Gods banished Mahabali who ruled the region, envious of the fame of that benevolent king in whose time truth, justice and equality reigned supreme. But Mahabali's magnanimity impressed even Vishnu, who accomplished the act as Vamana, the dwarf. Mahabali was thus granted the boon to revisit his subjects once a year, which is celebrated as Onam.

The occasion is a great tourist attraction with governmental support. Cultural shows, exhibitions, tableaus form part of the programs organized.



Updated on 7th June, 2005

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