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.
First of all, Wish you all a very Happy Onam again….
Onam is a festival of lights? Perplexed? I would say, Onam is a festival that spreads lights of Happiness. All through out 10 days of Onam, people, irrespective of color, religion, wealth, all try to be happy! I am not sure, is there any other festival in the world “forces” people to be happy from the core theme of the festival.
Onam, the whole theme of the festival is being happy and that’s what the festival is for! That’s why in Kerala, there is a saying “Kaanam Vittum Onam Unnanam” and be happy for it! (It means that “One must have the Onam lunch even selling his property, to have so” and be happy that you could do it!)
Look at any pookkalam(floral decoration) for a while…you can feel the serenity of Onam. Onam days shower peace and happiness to the nature and minds. Every celebration is an occasion where we try to make others happy, along with that, we become happy(actually happier!). So, we can celebratetogether only, not alone! Once we can cherish the moments of smiles and sharing, the celebration becomes meaningful. Those moments start bringing a feel of serenity and cares your mind…
It is believed that the King Mahabali visits Kerala every year to see his people. It was like heaven and people were very happy when he ruled this land. Hence when he visits once a year, he wants to see his people in merry and his land prosperous. Chingam is usually the harvest time in Kerala and people will be happier during that. So Onam is also considered as harvest festival.
There are many traditional games that are played during onam. Pulikali, thalapanthu kali, uriyadi… are some of them. Every village has some special game which adds more entertainment and fun to Onam days. Enjoyment and being happy forgetting all your frets are the highlights during Onam days.
Today is Onam Day 7.
Today we got a very special item for our pookkalam (floral decoration)… Manjaadi (Red Lucky Seeds) !! 🙂
Harmony makes things more balanced and the best! Onam is a festival of harmony. For every malayali, irrespective of their religion, cast or color, Onam is close to their heart! It is like every flower and color adding to the harmony of the pookkalams (floral decorations) .
It is very interesting to have Bakrid, the festival of the sacrifice coming during Onam days. The story of Onam also reminds us a sacrifice from King Mahabali to ensure truth and commitment prevailed!
The core of every festival is nothing but harmony; living harmonious to the nature and fellow humans!
Today is Onam Day 6.
Today’s pookkalam was made by a spirited team work. All four contributed in various phases of the project 😉
It is a great feeling, once you achieve happiness together, that becomes celebration!
Everyday pookkalam (floral decoration) adds to the elegance of Onam festival all throughout 10days from Atham to Thiruvonam. Onam is a story of truth, kindness and commitment. It reminds us that happiness is a result of selflessness. It unveiled through the story of King Mahabali. For me, he is a superhero who amazed the world with his judicious and compassionate care to his countrymen. He could bring and sustain truth and harmony in his land, and finally he taught us how one should be committed to his words without any fear….