Onam is the annual Harvest Festival of the state of Kerala in India. It is celebrated in the month of Chingam according to the Malayalam calendar which generally corresponds to the months of August/September of the Gregorian calendar. The festival lasts for ten days, starting from Atham nakshatram (star) until the Thiruvonam nakshatram.
According to legends, the festival is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. It is said that when Lord Vishnu’s Vaman avatara placed his third step on Mahabali’s head and started pushing him in the netherworld, the Lord became so impressed with Bali’s devotion and sincerity that he made Bali the King of hell. Mahabali was also given the permission to visit his people on Earth once in a year. This is the reason why the festival of Onam is celebrated in honour of the beloved King Mahabali as his returns to his kingdom on earth.
But in India we have a numerous of stories connected with a particular event or festival. Likewise, there are other mythological stories citing the significance and reason of celebrating Onam. In one it is said that Lord Vishnu’s Parsurama Avatara claimed a new land from the seas and gave it to the Brahmins. This newly created land is identified as Kerala and the Onam is celebrated to commemorate this event.
Whatever the origins, the festival of Onam is celebrated with much pomp and splendour. The festivities of Onam include Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Pookkalam (flower Rangoli), Onathappan (worship), Onam Kali, Tug of War, Thumbi Thullal (women's dance), Kummattikali (mask dance), Onathallu (martial arts), Onavillu (music), Kazhchakkula (plantain offerings), Onapottan (costumes), Atthachamayam (folk songs and dance), and other celebrations.
Celebrated for 10 days, this year the festival started on the 1st of September and it will go on till September 13.
We at Mintage World wish that this Onam fills your life with happiness, good health and prosperity. Wishing a happy Onam!
Image Courtesy: philaindia.info
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