ONAM 2022: Onam is the one of most awaited and biggest festivals in Kerala. The annual Hindu harvest festival symbolises the homecoming of the mythical demon king, Mahabali. The 10-day-long affair is celebrated with music, feasting, and boat races in the backwater of Kerala. This year, the Onam festival begun on August 30, and will conclude today on September 8 with Thiruvonam. On the last day, people prepare Onam sadya and the giant feast is savoured with family.
Onam: Spiritual Significance
As per Indian mythology scripts, on this day, King Mahabali managed to conquer Gods and established his rule over the three worlds. Despite being a demon king, he was a generous ruler and people loved him.
This made all the other gods feel threatened and sought help from Lord Vishnu, who then appeared as Vamana and tricked the king into giving back all the land he owned on Earth.
However, Lord Vishnu also granted him a boon that the king was allowed to return to his kingdom and his people once a year.
Since then, as per the Malayalam Calendar, Onam is celebrated at the beginning of Chingam, the first month of Kollavarsham. It is also the time of the year when the good harvest is gathered by the people of Kerala.
Onam: Puja Rituals
Family members wake up early in the morning and wear new traditional clothes and worship the Thrikkakara appam or Vaman Vishnu Idols. Women then make different Pookkalam or floral rangoli on the east side of their homes. They also light lamps and sing Onam songs to welcome King Mahabali.
A swinging ceremony is performed on Thiru Onam, in which a swing is slung on the high branch of a tree. On the third day, people invite their friends and family and celebrate Onam Sadya. They cook 13 dishes including rice, avial, curd and payasam and serve it on a fresh banana leave.
Vallamkali or the snake boat race is organized in Alappuzha. Boats are decorated and at least seven drums participate in the race.
On the ninth day of Onam, the families give vegetables and coconut oil as gifts to the eldest members of the family which is called Karanavar.
On the last day of Onam, various cultural activities are held in temples and religious places.
According to Muhurta Panchang, Thiruvonam Nakshatra begins at 4:00 pm on September 7 and will end at 01:46 pm on September 8. Based on the Hindu calendar, this day will be Trayodashi Tithi of Shulka Paksha of Bhadrapada