Onam Greetings Onam Wallpapers Onam Wishes Onam SMS Onam MessagesOnam, ഓണം, is a festival celebrated by the people of Kerala, India. The festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It is the state festival of Kerala and falls during the month of Chingam, August – September, and lasts for ten days. The festival is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali etc.
Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada, son of Hiranyakashyapa who was slain by Vishnu in his Narasimha Avatara. Prahlad, despite being an Asura, had great faith in Vishnu. Mahabali learned the act of love and devotion to Lord Vishnu as a child, from Prahlada.
By traditional beliefs; Parasurama, an incarnation of Vishnu is credited to have founded Kerala. An alternate legend defines Onam as the day on which Parasurama recovered Kerala from the sea-bed by throwing his battle-axe. The axe traveled from Gokarnam in the North to Kanyakumari in the South. This legend is mentioned by Hermann Gundert in his Malayalam Dictionary.
Onam LegacyOnam comes in the month of "Chingam" which is the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome King Mahabali. There will be competition for the laying of flower mats; Keralites all over the world will be celebrating this ten days with pomp and gaiety. They wear new dresses, visit as many temples as they can, perform dances like Thiruvadhira kali Thumbi Tullal etc. to name a few.
Onam ProgrammesThe most important things about Onam are the onakkodi, the new clothes worn on this day and onam sadya, a feast which is quite elaborate. This is usually a feast served on banana leaves and serves rice along with at least an array of 4 dishes. Traditional pickles and papadam are also served. Dessert is usually 'payasam', a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and other traditional Indian savories.
Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in modern times. Kerala's rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall on the Malayalam month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali's annual visit from Patala, the underworld. Onam is unique since Mahabali has been revered by the people of Kerala since prehistory and is celebrated by people irrespective of religion.