Onam festival is a most famous and cultural Hindu festival and celebrated every year. It is a famous as a state festival of Kerala by the people of south India. It is a festival of 4 days and there is a state holiday of 4 days. It starts on Onam Eve called Uthradom and ends on 3rd Onam day.
How Onam Festival is Celebrated:
People of Kerala State wait for the festival very enthusiastically and gets involved in the rituals and activities on the occurrence of the festival from early in the morning. People start cleaning their houses and decorate their house. On the day of the festival, they make a rangoli with rice flour batter to the main gate entrance of the house.
And prepare Pookkalam in order to traditionally welcome their king. They take early morning bath, wear new clothes, get prepared for the grand celebration and start distributing aims to the needy people. Females of the family do shopping and head female of the family gifts new clothes to every member of their family. This festival is secular in nature as celebration preparations take place in the temples, churches, and mosques. The special prayers and activities in the huge gathering of devotees.
The cities of Kerala state are decorated with the lights and fabulous displays of fireworks. People enjoy in preparing delicious Onam Sadya feasts on the day of the festival and playing various traditional Onam games, songs, and dances whole day. Festival celebration ends on Thiruvonam but people engage in celebration two or three days later.
On the third day Onam Avvittom people prepare Mahabali’s ascension to heavens and place an Onathappan statue to the center of every Pookalam and after all, they immerse it in the nearby river or sea.
People enjoy the ritual of great Pulikali in the city of Thrissur during which a parade takes place by the men dressed as lions and tigers.
People of the rural areas also enjoy swinging from high branches of the tree and sing Onapaatt, it is a ritual song. The competition of Pookalam and other competitions such as Ox races, food eating, Uriyady (breaking of pots), etc. also takes place. there is a procession of Elephant decorated with ornaments and flowers and Folk Dances performed by the women together with songs praising the king Mahabali are another attraction of the festival celebration. This festival season brings a huge opportunity for the weavers, potters and other businessmen as people demand more attractive and creative products all through the season.
The significance of Onam Festival:
Onam festival is being celebrated from the ancient time which still survives in the modern times. People of Kerala celebrate this festival as the rice harvest festival and the festival of rain flowers every year in the month of Chingam to commemorate the demon king Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala Loka.
It is believed that King was so devoted and attached to his kingdom once annually. Onam festival is celebrated annually with lots of joy and enthusiasm to honor the king Mahabali. The Hindu deity Lord Vishnu is also worshipped.