The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam, is also a festival of flowers. During the month of Chingam, the climate of this southern state helps many plants to bear flowers.
From ages, Onam Pookkalam has been a part of the Onam celebration. Traditionally, flowers for Onam Pookkalam were plucked from the courtyard of houses and nearby premises.
However, now the scenario has changed and the flowers for the Onam floral Rangoli are easily available in the market.
Also Read: 10 Trending Pookalam Designs For Onam
This floral Rangoli is known as 'Athapoo', as it starts on Attam, the first day of Onam and continues till the last day, that is, Thiruonam.
Usually, Onam Pookkalam is round in shape and in the centre of the floral Rangoli, a clay idol of vamanan, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is said to have sent King Mahabali to another world, is placed.
First day, there will be one ring of Athapoo and it increases day by day; and the rings represent gods and goddesses.
The flowers used for Athappookalam are also very special and not all flowers are used in the rangoli. So, let's have a look at the types of flowers used for Onam Pookkalam, in this article.
Thumba Or Ceylon Slitwort:
Thumba, the small white flower, is an integral part of Onam Pookkalam. On Attam, the first day of Onam, Thumba is the only used flower for Onam Pookkalam.
Tulasi is unavoidable for Onam Pookkalam. The green colour makes the floral Rangoli more colourful and the fragrance makes the premises serene.
Chethi Or Flame Of The Woods:
Chethi, with its red colour, makes the Pookkalam appear vibrant and stunning. It is one of the flowers for Onam floral Rangoli that is easily available, which makes the whole rings look very attractive.
Chemparathy Or Hibiscus, Or Shoe Flower:
Like Chethi, Chemparathy with its dark red colour makes the floral carpet of Onam look dazzling. It's a very common flower that is used by the people of south India for various purposes.
Shankupushpam Or Butterfly Pea:
A combination of blue colour with yellow, as its core, makes Shankupushpam one of the most prominent flowers that is used for Onam floral Rangoli. This flower is seen in almost all parts of Kerala and during Onam, it blooms beautifully.
Jamanthi Or Marigold, Or Chrysanthemum:
With a variety of colours, Jamanthi plays a crucial role in Athapookkalam. It comes in yellow, white, red, and orange colours. This gives a charismatic look for the Pookkalam.
Another very common flower in Kerala is Mandaram, which is used for Onam Pookkalam. The petals are slightly bigger; and so children and women pluck the petals and arrange them in the Pookkalam. It is white in colour and the scent of this flower gives a fresh ambience to the surrounding.
Kongini Flower Or Lantana:
One of the traditional Athappoo flowers is Kongini or Lantana. Kongini flowers come in a variety of colours like red, orange, blue, yellow and white. This flower is small in size and is very common in Kerala.
Hanuman Kereedam Or Red Pagoda Flower:
Hanuman Kereedam is a very common flower, especially in the Northern part of Kerala. It comes in orange and red colours, which make the Athapookkalam appear highly attractive.
One of the most common flowers for Onam Pookkalam is Mukkuthi. The dark yellow colour makes the floral Rangoli look more vibrant.
So, use the above-mentioned flowers for your Athapookkalam and make this Onam a more beautiful and memorable festival.