Onam is considered to be one of the biggest festivals that are celebrated in Kerala. Onam is nothing but a festival of harvest. The joy, excitement and enthusiasm with which this festival is celebrated in Kerala is really worth mentioning.
According to legends, Onam is mainly celebrated as a gesture of welcoming the great King Mahabali. It is said that the spirit of this great King visits the state during the celebration of Onam.
The people of Kerala follow the Malayalam Calendar, which is also known as the Kolla Varsham. They celebrate Onam during the onset of the Chingam month, which is considered to be the very first month in the Malayalam Calendar.
This means that Onam is actually celebrated in the month of August to September, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
Celebration Of Onam
The first day is referred to as Atham and the tenth and last days are known as Thiru Onam. These two days are very important in comparison to the other days of Onam.
The way the people of Kerala present the rich culture and heritage of the state for the ten days has earned Onam the title of the National Festival of Kerala in the year 1961.
The elaborate feasts, the beautiful and charming folk songs, the elegant and classy dance forms, the exciting and enthusiastic games, the grand elephants, the boats and the flowers are amongst the most important parts of the harvest festival, Onam.
The Indian Government has honoured this dynamic festival and has not failed to promote Onam worldwide. The government also celebrates the very popular 'Tourist Week' in Kerala during the festival. Tourists from all over the world flock to Kerala to be an important part of the Onam festival.
The Legend Of Onam
Kerala was known for the grandeur when the demon King Mahabali ruled over Kerala. Kerala was known for the golden era during this period. Almost everyone who lived here was not only happy but also prosperous. The King was respected and loved by all his subjects.
Mahabali was well known and respected mainly because of the virtues that he had instilled in himself. But, there was one shortcoming that he had. King Mahabali was very egoistic. This was one of the greatest weaknesses that he had and this shortcoming was utilized by the Gods in order to end the rule.
The Gods had started to feel challenged due to the long rule of the King. However, Mahabali was well known for all the good things and the virtues that he had, and hence he was granted a boon.
The boon was that King Mahabali could visit his subjects every year. The visit of the great King Mahabali is celebrated as the festival of Onam in Kerala every year. The people of Kerala put in all the effort required to celebrate Onam grandly and also to impress the King.
Kerala is well known for the rich culture and heritage. It is during the season of Onam that the people portray the heritage and the culture in the best possible form. The people who have already been a part of this festival know that this is one of the best experiences that they have had.
Elaborate preparations are made and the people of the state make sure that Onam is a great success. The carnival continues for a period of ten days and people from in and around the world love being a part of this grand harvest festival of Kerala, Onam.