Onam is a harvest festival celebrated by Malayalis worldwide to welcome their beloved King Mahabali. And also Onam day marks the birth of Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is generally celebrated in the month of August or September. It is an important regional festival of Kerala. This year Thiruvonam is to be celebrated on September 4th. This festival is celebrated for ten days, many tourists from other states and foreigners visit Kerala during this festival.
Onam celebration includes the Pookalam-floral rangoli, carnivals, dances, boat races, cultural programmes and traditional feast, which is known as Onakalikal. There are also the special event of decorated elephants, Kathakali dances and the fireworks.
Legend behind the festival
Onam festival is celebrated to honour the homecoming of the demon King Mahabali. He was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He was an ideal and benevolent King. His popularity was envied by the Gods. They feared that he become the King of Gods. They appealed to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took his Vamana avatar-fifth avatar. Vamana, a dwarf and a poor Brahmin went to King Mahabali and ask for three steps of land. Demon King readily agreed. Vamana covered the whole earth with the first step and covered the skies with the second step and then he asked for his third step. King Mahabali offered his head for placing his third step. With this last step, Vamana pushed King Mahabali to Pathala Lokam. Demon King requested Vamana to reveal his true form. Lord Vishnu appeared infront of him and granted the permission to visit his kingdom once a year. And also Lord blessed him that he always loved by his subjects. Kerala people celebrate the visit of King Mahabali every year as Onam.
Celebration begins with Pookalam
On the first day, Pookalam- a colorful rangali made using flowers to welcome the King Mahabali. The flower rangoli gets bigger every day. People buy new clothes and accessories. They decorate the house. They want to show King Mahabali that they are living happy and satisfied. Malayali’s living in other places visit their homes to celebrate Onam with their families. It is believed that King Mahabali comes to visit his people on tenth day. A special grand feast is prepared in his honour and served to the family. The food is served on a banana leaf consists of rice, curries, chutney, payasam, puddings, pickles.
A snake boat race is an event to watch. Long boats are used and they resemble like raised hood of Cobra. Archery, kabaddi and many other games are played and also a variety of dances are performed on this occasion.
Vamana Homam helps to increase the prosperity in life and removes bad karma effects. This homam protect yourself from malefic effects of planets. Onam day are considered extremely auspicious for performing Vamana Homam. Get happiness and gain spiritual knowledge and wisdom by performing Vamana Homam on this day.