Onam falls on 31 August 2023Onam is a harvest and regional festival that is celebrated in Kerala and Keralites all over the world. It holds cultural and historical significance, symbolizing the spirit of harmony, unity, and gratitude. The festival is celebrated in praise of the legend of King Mahabali and Lord Vishu.
10 days of festival and celebration:
- The first day of the festival marks the beginning of the Atham star in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam. Devotees clean their homes and decorate them with intricately designed floral rangoli, known as 'Pookkalam'.
- The Pookkalam, a floral carpet, is created by arranging various colourful flowers in patterns that grow in size with each passing day of the festival. It symbolizes a path for King Mahabali's arrival and reflects the spirit of welcoming and hospitality.
- The main day of celebration is Thiruvonam, on this day the biggest Pookkalam design is created in front of the houses to welcome King Mahabali.
- A prominent cultural event during Onam is the snake boat race, known as 'Vallamkali'. It symbolizes the spirit of unity and cooperation, as participants row together in synchronization.
- Onathappan is a ritualistic worship involving the creation of small clay idols representing Mahabali and Vishnu. These idols are placed on the Pookkalam and worshipped with devotion.
Pooja Method and Worship:
Onam festival is a harvest festival of Kerala and is celebrated for ten days with different rituals and ceremonies. The house and the places of worship are cleaned the previous day and the things that are necessary for the pooja are kept ready. A big and beautiful pookolam is created in the font of the house by using colourful flowers.
The family members wake up early in the morning wear new clothes worship the deity thank the almighty god for his blessing and shower on them. After worshipping the deity the members of the family enjoy a special meal called the onam sadhya - a complete Kerala-style meal that is served on a plantain leaf.