23 August 2010 | By: Writing Buddha

ONAM - Biggest Festival of Kerala !!!

            279th BLOG -->>

POOKALAM (I took the pic)
         I would like to wish HAPPY ONAM to all my friends from Kerala. Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala and is celebrated for basically 10 days. Few days ago, I talked about Ramzaan on my blog, then it was Pateti - Parsi New Year and today its Onam and tomorrow its Raksha Bandhan. Our country is great and we are the best example in the world for Unity in Diversity (Unity is getting sabotaged day by day). We have 365 festivals in 365 days of a year. What more can we expect as enjoyment and celebration? I am so proud to be an Indian when I see people celebrating and performing their myths and customs for their festivals. Today, when I was passing the platforms of Panvel railway station, I saw a beautiful design (you can see it in the adjacent pic I have published )made by Keralites as a tradition of their festival. It is called Pookalam.

               Onam - many Indians don't know what this festival is all about. Let me tell you. Onam is the biggest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala. It falls during the first month of the Malayalam calendar which is CHINGAM (August - September) and marks the homecoming and revisiting of the King Mahabali. This festival lasts for 10 days and many Kerala's customs and traditions are performed in these 10 days. 

               Onam is the ancient and old festival which is still celebrated with the same zeal and enthusiasm in the modern days. According to the legend, Kerala witnessed its golden era during the reign of King Mahabali. Everybody in the state was happy and prosperous and the king was highly regarded by his subjects. He was that much highly regarded among the subjects that even the Gods under Indra became jealous of Mahabali, they approached Mahavishnu claiming that Mahabali is now equivalent to an Indra. Since a world with two Indras represents imbalance, Mahavishnu assumed the form of a dwarf: the Vamana avatara and tricked him to Pathalam, the Underworld. However, as Mahabali is equal to an Indra, he is to wait until the next Yuga where he would be the Indra. In the meantime, with the grace of Mahavishnu, Mahabali visits his people on an annual basis. Mahavishnu serves Mahabali as a gatekeeper in the world of Pathalam as the Lord himself serves his greatest devotees.

                Onasadya is the most exciting part of Onam. It is the day when a grand feast is held where atmost 11 to 13 different dishes are prepared. The food is served on banana leaves and people sit on the mats placed on the ground. 

                 Vallamkalli is the another enchanting feature of Onam where a Snake Boat Race is held in the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators.

                 There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with a ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam.

Pookalam - I took this pic on Panvel rlwy station
                Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam(the pic I have posted) in the front courtyard of the house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations. 

                Mahabali's rule is considered the golden era of Kerala. The following song is often sung over Onam: (Translation)

“    When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people had equality.
And people were joyful and merry;
They were all free from harm.
There was neither anxiety nor sickness,
Death of the children was never even heard of,
There were no lies,
There was neither theft nor deceit,
And no one was false in speech either.
Measures and weights were right;
No one cheated or wronged his neighbor.
When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people formed one casteless race.

                I would like to apologize all my Keralites brothers and sisters if I have given some wrong information unintentionally. 

2 CoMMenTs !!! - U CaN aLSo CoMMenT !!!:

rahul garg said...

happy onam to juby joy.
proud of u mr.blogger . one of us is on the way to horizon.

Writing Buddha said...

Yaa Rahul.....Happy Onam to juby and thanks for coming on my blog and reading it and also commenting...This is ur 1st comment on my blog and I am so happy that one of my childhood frnd has also started following my blogs..Thanks...and thanks for believing that i am on the right path..thanks a lot.

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