Onam 2021 | Famous South Indian Festival
Onam is a great festival in South India, especially in Kerala and it is celebrated with great pomp. Onam is specially celebrated in the fields for the good yield of the crop. This festival is very auspicious and the main thing that happens on this festival is that on this day people worshiped not in temples, but in their homes. This festival is a public holiday throughout the state of Kerala and a variety of cultural and entertainment programs are organized.
On this festival, people clean and decorate their homes in a good way. Along with this, many entertaining programs like boat races, Kathakali, and singing are also organized during this time. On this day many special dishes are prepared in homes. Malayali people believe that worshiping in the house on this day brings prosperity in the house. Along with this, it is also believed about this festival that during Onam, King Bali comes to earth from Hades and brings happiness to his subjects. In fact, Onam is the festival when the new crop is ready in Kerala and because India has been an agricultural country since ancient times, this is the reason why this day is celebrated with such pomp.
Why do We Celebrate Onam Festival:-
There is a mythological story which belongs to this festival, due to which South Indians give great respect to this festival. It is believed that Lord Vishnu took the Vamana avatar and measured all the three locos in 02 steps and he put his 3rd step on King Mahabali and he went into Patallok. The Asuraraj king Mahabali was the king of Kerala and this festival of Onam is dedicated to him only. It is believed that for three days in these festivals, King Mahabali comes to earth from Patallok and brings joy and happiness to his subjects with new crops. This is the reason why people also make clay idols of King Bali in the courtyard of their homes on this festival. This is the reason this Festival is celebrated with divine heart and happiness.
History of Onam Festival:-
Just as every state celebrates its own traditional festivals, similarly the festival of Onam is celebrated in Kerala. This festival is dedicated to King Mahabali of Kerala. The most popular story about this festival is that-
In ancient times, there was a great king named Mahabali and he loved his subjects and their all the things. Apart from being a donor, he was also very mighty. He had conquered all three worlds with his muscle power, then his guru Shukracharya advised him to perform a hundred Ashwamedha sacrifices and attain the position of Indra and become the lord of Triloka forever. According to his orders, King Bali started performing a hundred Ashvamedha Yagyas and his 99 Yagyas were completed safely.
But before completing the 100th Yagya, a Vamana came to him (Lord Vishnu appeared as Vamana) and asked King Bali for donation and the king replied what you need then the Vamana said, I need only three steps of land, but King Bali was unaware about the actual person i.e. Lord Vishnu behind the Vamana Avtar. When King Bali accepted his demand, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Vamana and measured all the worlds in two steps, and when asked the place for the third step, King Bali said that Lord, keep the third step on your head. Give.
When Lord Vamana took the third step, King Bali went to Hades. Pleased with this donation and devotion of King Bali, Lord Vishnu asked him to ask for a boon. Then King Bali said that ‘O Lord, I want to meet my subjects once in a year. Since that day it is considered that it is the festival of Onam, on which King Bali comes to meet his subjects. This is the reason why this festival of Onam is celebrated with so much pomp in Kerala.
How do people celebrate Onam?
The people of Kerala celebrate the Onam festival in a very traditional way. On this day people celebrate the festival in different ways. They paint the gate of the house, decorate it with flowers, make Onam rangoli on the road, do traditional dance on the street, and other interesting things. They dress the elephant and decorate them with flowers, and then parade on the street. Which depicts human love for animals. On this day, women wear traditional Onam sarees and men wear traditional costumes. During this festival season, many schools and colleges also arrange some competitions like Onam drawing, Onam poster, Onam Pookalam design, etc. During the festival people also share Onam wishes messages, Onam wishes images, and share Onam greetings with each other and with friends and family members.
When is the Onam 2021:-
On the occasion of the Onam Festival, we have seen an official holiday in many of the states in India, especially in the South region of India. According to the Hindu Panchang, Onam is falling on 21st August 2021.
The festival is celebrated for 10 days:-
This great festival of Onam goes for 10 days celebration in Kerala, and the worship is done at homes only. Flowers and plants are made inside the house. For this, flowers are decorated in a circle in a clean room, which is decorated for 8 consecutive days. On the ninth day, a statue of Lord Vishnu is kept inside the house and all family members do Pooja of Lord Vishnu and they also sing folk songs. Along with this, the time of Shravan Devta and Ganapati is worshiped at night and the idol is immersed on the 10th day.
Famous Cuisines are made at Onam Festival:-
Along with the pooja recitation, the festival of Onam is also famous for its cuisine. During this festival different types of dishes are prepared in the houses. This is the reason why these children are most excited about this festival. Usually on this day dishes like Pachadi-Pachadi Kallam, Dao, Ghee, Ollam, Sambar etc. are made, which are served on banana leaves. The culinary delicacies made on Onam reflect the variety of food Nimboodari Brahmins eat, which serves to showcase their culture. Eighteen types of milk dishes are served on this day in many places.
Major Events during Onam Festival:-
Here below we have provided some of the major events which are organized during the Onam Festival.
Tripunithura Achakayam: Elephant dance – Achakayam is a cultural festival that provides a rare opportunity to witness almost all the folk arts of Kerala. On these days people perform traditional dance on the street. They represent the culture or tradition with their dance moves and their traditional costumes. Various Kerala art forms are performed on this day, like carnival floats, dancers, musicians, and decorated elephants walk the streets.
Pulikali: Tiger Dance – Pulikali means great tiger dance, this dance was started 2000 years ago. This dance is performed by the male on the street. Most of the people dressed as tigers and dance to traditional music. It is believed that by doing so, they become agile like tigers, and they dance like animals. Also shows love.
Vallamkali: Boat Race – Onam festival is also famous for the boat race. There is a longboat like a snake is called Noka in Kerala. Because it is as long as a snake, which is run by 20 to 25 men and more than that together. The Vallamkali or snake boat race is organized in a grand procession on the Pampa River, in this competition, the winner gets prizes of lakhs, and thousands of people come to watch the boat race.
Pookalam: Flower Decoration – Flower Decoration Festival is called Pookalam in Malayalam. Onam festival is one of the greater festivals where devotees use flowers to celebrate this day. Pookalam is a famous form of this grand festival. On this day, people use flowers to decorate their homes and make Onam rangoli of flowers in their house. Rangoli of flowers is made everywhere at the crossroads on the roads.
Thiruvathirakali: Kerala Folk Dance – During the festival, women perform the folk dance of Kerala on the street accompanied by traditional music. There are more than fifty famous folk dances in Kerala. Among them Kaliyattam, Mudittu, Kolan Thulla, Kolapali, Poorvakkali, Velakali, Kampadavukali, Kanniyarkali and Thiruvatirakali are the most popular. Women wear traditional clothes and perform cultural makeup, some women also wear traditional masks and then dance by clapping.
Onam Sadhya: Whole Foods – Sadhya means feast in Malayalam. Onam Sadhya is served as a traditional dish at this festival. A complete meal means that 12 to 13 dishes are prepared, all the traditional dishes are served on a banana leaf. It includes a variety of dishes. Its special thing is that the foods served in it are also good in terms of health. If you are vegetarian then this is best for you.
The things that are usually served in Sadhya are…
- Chips (banana, yam).
- Pickles (Mango, Lemon, and Ginger).
- Curry (Olan, Khichdi, Veg Stew, Sambar, Rasam, Kutu Curry, etc.)
- Vegetables made in coconut and milk.
- Any vegetable made with curd.
- Gravy Wali Mix Veg.
- Yogurt Wala Pineapple or Bitter gourd.
- Many things go with them which include boiled rice, spicy buttermilk, banana papad, etc.
The final course of Onam Sadhya in Kerala consists of a traditional sweet dish consisting of Payasam (kheer), Boli (special sweet dish), and paan. The most important thing is that all these dishes are eaten in small amounts so that all the flavours can be found. According to experts, banana leaves are rich in natural antioxidants called polyphenols.
It is believed that when hot food is served on it, antioxidants are absorbed in the food which is very beneficial. This leaf is antibacterial as well as vitamin A, calcium, and carotene are found in it. Traditionally it is believed that after eating a banana leaf, it should be stopped. Although you will get the real fun of Onam Sadhya only by going to Kerala, but there are restaurants in many cities of the country that serve this traditional food of Onam.