Thrissur, Sep 12: Thiruonam, the harvest festival of Kerala, is on Friday, Sep 12 being celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm.
After days of hectic festivities and shopping, a huge respite is felt across the State on the Thiruvonam Day as every Malayali household is geared up to welcome Thiruvonam, which is considered to be the most auspicious day of Onam. Right from dawn, devotees flock to temples to offer yellow Onakodi' to their favourite deities. Many temples have special pujas. Elaborate preparations are made to celebrate Thiruvonam in the grandest possible way. Women clean up the house and decorate a flower mat in the front courtyard of the house to welcome the spirit of the legendary King Mahabali who is so much appreciated by his people centuries after his golden reign.
For the afternoon grand meal called 'Onasadya' which is served on a tender Banana leaf is prepared to impress upon the spirit of the King that his people are happy and wish him well. People of Kerala are extremely passionate about this. Even if they cannot easily afford, they will prepare the meal inclusive of all the 11-13 prescribed dishes. This has lead to the saying in Malayalam, 'Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam' which means, “We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties".
In the countryside, still streaks of festivity and gaiety that go hand in hand with this grand festival can be seen. Most of the homes try to retain the quintessential charm and flavour of this festival without being eroded by the onslaught of time. They make floral carpets on all ten days preceding onam and spruce up the home and the courtyard leaving no stone unturned in extending a grandoise welcome to the legendary king.