Onam 2019: The annual harvest celebration of Onam falls in the period of Chingam of the Malayalam – calendar, which in Gregorian calendar falls through Aug and Sep. Onam is the formal state festival of Kerala with public holidays that start four days from Uthradom (Onam eve).
To know more about this celebration, let’s take a look at some interesting facts.
- The festival of Onam is recognised for its secularity and inclusiveness. Irrespective of the class and association, Onam is celebrated with the same zest and enthusiasm.
- Like Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam is also a 10days festival, with the 1st and the last days doing most important. According to the traditional tales, the Asura King of Mahabali is supposed to tour the state of Kerala & Malayalees welcome the King by dedicating Onam.
- A luxurious and elegant lunch meal called Sadya is made in every home. There are over 26 various types of food items served on a banana leaf, which is traditionally used as a plate. Banana chips, Thoran, Mezhukkupuratti, Kaalan, Papadam, Olan, Avial, Sambar, Rice, Dal, Erisheri, Rasam, Pickle, Buttermilk, and Payasam, are some major ones who are involved in the food platter.
- Onam is the moment when everyone in the state is dressed in their traditional clothes. Women are clad in the famous Kerala saree, which is white and has a golden edge. Men wear white painted mundu and Jubba.
- There are many types of sports played throughout the celebrations. The most popular one being the bottom race, called Vallamkali. Kayyankali, Attakalam Talappanthukali and Ambeyyal are some other traditional games played during Onam.
- Pookkalam or flower – rangoli is an analytical performance of this festival. Roads, house entrance ways etc.are coloured heavily with both simple and complex designs using a variety of flowers such as marigold, roses, lilies, jasmine etc. Competition for Pookkalam is also designed to encourage more people to join in Onam 2019.
- The celebration is also about music and dance. Traditional dance forms include Thiruvathira, Pulikali, Kummattikali, Onam Kali and Thumbi Thullal, others. Thiruvathira Kali is a women’s -dance performed in a circle around a lamp. Kummattikali is a colourful mask dance. In Thrissur, celebrations include a train consisting of caparisoned elephants encircled by Kummatikali dancers. The masked actors go from house to house performing the colourful Kummattikali.