What is Onam? A short intro
It is a festival of truth, harmony and happiness.
There is very nice story behind Onam festival. It goes like this (I tried to make it very short!!):
There was an asura(demon) king who was very generous and great. He made his kingdom (belief in the region of Kerala 🙂 like a heaven. However Devas got scared that he is making earth also heaven and soon become a threat to devas.
They immediately approached God Vishnu (solution to everything!:
). Vishnu took one avatar called Vamana (poor & dwarf Brahmin) and came to Mahabali. King asked what help Vamana needed. Vamana asked 3 feet of land for him to do prayers and meditation. Mahabali happily agreed (though he knew that it is God Vishnu came for a purpose!). Vamana all of sudden grew in size and covered everything the king ruled in just two steps and third step, there is no space. To keep his word and honour, Mahabali offered his head for the third step. Vishnu became happy and impressed on Mahabali’s gesture and asked him what blessing he wants. Mahabali told, once in a year, he wants to come back and see his people. This homecoming is celebrated as Onam. So Onam is the time when Mahabali visits us to see whether we are happy! So during Onam, people take new clothes, prepare good food/feast, no lies or cheating (very important ;)), play lot games, make floral decorations(pookkalams)…..and be happy to show Mahabali that, all of us are happy and together!
It is a 10 days of festival. Today is the main day – Thiruvonam when Mahabali arrives….
Mahabali, despite being a demon king, was said to be generous and benevolent. His rule is likened to the golden era. Because of this, his return every year is so widely celebrated. The festival is celebrated in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam. Onam is also a harvest festival.
You can find more details in my blog here : https://skdwriting.wordpress.com/?s=Onam (you can find pictures and details of each day and some stories!)
Once again, wish you all a very happy Onam!