Onam Festival is one of the most important festival of Kerala or
South India. It is a bright and colourful festival that celebrates
the bounties of nature and a year of good harvest. The Onam festival
in India stretches on for ten days - days filled with feasting, boat
racing, singing and dancing. Rituals along with new clothes,
traditional cuisine, dance, and music mark this harvest festival.
When Is Onam Festival in 2008
Onam Festival in 2008 is on Friday, 12th September.
Legends Of Onam Festival
According to the legends, Kerala was ruled by the Demon King
Mahabali. Mahabali was such a great ruler that his rule was known as
the "golden rule of Mahabali". His fame spread far and wide that the
Gods feared that he might become too powerful. So they approached
Lord Vishnu, to curb Mahabali's power.
Lord Vishnu took the form of Vaamana, the dwarf and approached
Mahabali. He asked the good King for three paces of land. King
Mahabali was so kind that he looked at the small person and advised
him to ask something bigger. But the guru of the demons, Guru
Sukracharya, realised this was no ordinary brahmin and told the king
to refuse any boons. But King Mahabali refused and granted three
paces of land to Vaamana.
At that, the dwarf grew in height till he almost touched the sky.
With his first step, he measured the heavens, with his second, the
nether world. For his third pace, there was no place and Kign
Mahabali offered his head. So he did and Mahabali was pushed into
the nether world. But Lord Vishnu was so pleased with this great
King that he showed him his viswarupa and gave him a boon. Then the
good king Mahabali requested that he should visit his people once a
year and see his beloved subjects. Lord Vishnu granted him his boon
and on the day "Onam Festival" or "Harvest Festival" of kerala King
Mahabali visits the earth is only celebrated as Onam.
Of Onam Festival in India
River Pampa comes alive with decorated floats and water sports on
the eve of onam festival in kerala. In Trichur, an elaborate
procession of artistically decorated and caparisoned elephants is
taken out. A huge crowd gathers to watch the procession. Singing and
merry-making mark the occasion. Women wear new saris and make
elaborate rangolis, pookkalam , in front of their homes.. The
celebrations begin 10 days before Thiruonam. The festivities end in
a spectacular display of fireworks.
The jubilant celebrations of Onam festival in India are marked by
special boat races. The bank of river Pampa at Aranmulla attracts
large crowds for the annual snake boat races. The precincts of the
Krishna temple on the river bank reverberate with the shouts of the
cheering crowd. Every village along the river owns a boat and has a
specialised crew to steer it. Dressed in white dhotis and turbans,
they participate in the boat race. The boatmen row their boats with
rhythmic movements to the accompaniment of drum beats and special