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Onam Festival 2019: Significant Things You Should Know About The Festival

By Ajanta Sen

Onam is one of the most renowned festivals of Kerala and it is celebrated in a splendid and magnificent manner. Every year the Onam festival is celebrated in August or September. This year the festival is celebrated from 1 September to 13 September.

This majestic festival is considered as Kerala’s National festival. The celebrations of this joyous festival continue for 10 days and people of all ages take part in it with equal delight and gusto.

Also Read: Try This Tasty Vadukapuli Achar for Onam

The Onam festival is completely dedicated to Mahabali, a king who had virtues of a 'Sur' even though he was an 'Asur'. The people of Kerala believe that they had a great time during the reign of Mahabali. Mahabali was the most righteous and honest king ever. He always used to help the deprived people and always stood true to his words. According to a legend Mahabali sacrificed himself as well as all his possessions to keep his promise.

Also Read: Onam Celebration Ideas For Office

Thus, people of Kerala venerate him and remember his sacrifice till this date. Moreover, the Onam festival is to mark the homecoming of King Mahabali. Thus, if you want to witness the grand celebrations of Onam, you must visit Kerala during this occasion. This 10-day festival has different rituals each day.

However, if you don’t get a chance to visit Kerala during Onam, here are a few things that you need to know about Onam. The article highlights some important points to acquaint you all about the festival of Onam and you must know these things about Onam:


Onasadya is a delectable feast which is one of the most important things that you need to know about Onam. Onasadya is served on a banana leaf and it comprises 13-26 dishes.

Some of the most common preparations of Onasadya include avial, olan, khichadi, kaalan, rice, pachadi, kootu, chips, sambhar, thoran, pulissery, rasam, puliinji, payasam, erissery, buttermilk and papad.

In almost every Malayali household minimum 11-13 dishes are prepared. Even if you are not a Malayali, you can check out a few restaurants that have the Onam special meal for their guests.


Pookalam is basically a “floral rangoli” which embellishes all houses in Kerala for the entire 10 days of Onam festival. This rangoli is similar to the rangolis made in the other parts of India but here instead of colours people use colourful flowers to make the Pookalam(floral rangoli).

Generally, the Pookalam is made in front of each house; however nowadays due to space restrictions, people have started making Pookalam inside their homes.

Traditional Attire (Mundu)

Onam festival is highlighted by donning the traditional attire which is called “Mundu”.

Women wear off-white saris with golden zari border which looks very elegant, whereas men don white color dhotis with gold border along with kurtas.

Folk Dances

Folk dances are one of the most noteworthy things that you need to know about Onam. Women perform a dance on this occasion which is accompanied by claps; this popular dance is known as “Kaikottikali”.

“Thumbi Thullal” is another dance form which is performed in a circle. Women also sing songs while performing these dances and majority of the songs rave about King Mahabali. Another delightful dance form which is performed during Onam is “Kathakali” which involves heavy costume and intricate make-up along with drama and furious expressions.

Boat Race

This is also known as “Vallamkali” which is a well-known highlight of the Onam festival. This particular activity involves around 100 boatmen who fight with each other in the boat race.

Each boat is adorned skillfully with a different design. This event is witnessed by a plethora of people from all over the city as well as different parts of the country.

Elephant Procession

The elephant procession is one of the most important things that you need to know about Onam. The elephant is embellished with gold ornaments and flowers and then it walks all around the city.

The elephant also performs dance and interacts with the crowd through cute little gestures.

Thus, all the aforementioned points are majorly associated with Onam and you must know these things about Onam.

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