Onam 2017: How Kerala celebrates its festival
The Onam 2017 falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam during August-September. The festival commences on the day known as Atham and culminates on the 10th day, known as Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam, meaning Sacred Onam Day.
The first day of Onam celebration starts with people visiting the temples in the morning. It is believed that King Mahabali starts his preparations to descend from Pathala to Kerala on this day.
Pookalam (Floral Rangoli)
The festival lasts for ten days and brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. The main attraction of the festival is the flower decorations (like a flower rangoli). Every day, they decorate their homes with flowers in their courtyards, and also prepare a grand meal called the Onasadya.
Another main attractions of Onam is the grand feast known as Onasadya, which is a nine-course meal consisting of 10-13 dishes, including rice, sambar, avial, rasam, payasam (sweet dish). It is served on Thiruonam - the day of the main festivities.
Celebrations also include traditional dance, music and games that are collectively called Onakalikal.
History of Onam
Onam 2017, considered to be the harvest festival and the official state festival of Kerala, is celebrated by Keralites to welcome the King Mahabali. According to mythology, Vamana granted Mahabali a boon, by which he could visit again, once every year, the lands and people he previously ruled. This revisit marks the Onam 2017 festival.