Friday, September 12, 2008

Onam - The festival of kerala


Onam is the biggest celebration in Kerala. Travel to Kerala during Onam, on Kerala tours with Kerala Backwater, and see Kerala at its festive best. See the beautiful flower carpets, eat a delicious festive lunch, watch a graceful thiruvathirakali dance performance and join in the festivities of Onam in Kerala.

The Legend behind Onam Festival in Kerala:
Onam is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, a legendary ruler of Kerala, who was renowned for the justice and goodness of his rule. According to legend, people in his kingdom lived in prosperity and harmony and loved their King so much that even the God's grew jealous of him, for King Mahabali was of the race of Demons. King Mahabali had conquered all the land and sea and the heavens, making the Gods even more disturbed. They requested Vishnu, the Preserver, in the Hindu trinity to act. Vishnu descended on earth in the form of a dwarf Brahmin, called Vamana. He went to King Mahabali's palace and found the good King distributing alms. When Mahabali asked Vamana what alms he sought, Vamana replied he would like as much ground as he could cover with three footsteps. Mahabali looked at the tiny feet of the dwarf and agreed to his wish. Lord Vishnu covered the land and seas with one step and the heavens with the second. Mahabali recognized the presence of the Lord and offered his head as the ground for Vishnu/Vamana's third step. Mahabali was thus subjugated and sent to the underworld. However because he was a good king who loved his subjects, he could return once a year to check on the welfare of his people. Thus Onam is celebrated every year to welcome Mahabali, the good Demon King of Kerala.

Onam Festival Celebration in Kerala:
Onam Festival is celebrated with great joy and gaiety across Kerala, on a particular day in August or September. People buy new clothes and exchange gifts. Houses are cleaned and beautiful flower carpets and decorations are made at the entrances of houses and in courtyards. Traditional oil lamps are lit in the courtyard and women dressed in traditional Kerala sarees dance around the lamp, performing a dance called Thiruvathirakali. The main event on Onam day is a grand feast at lunchtime. Called sadya, the feast consists of a series of dishes served one after the other, including rice, vegetable curries, pickles and several varieties of payasam or sweet dish. Many cultural events are also held on the occasion of Onam. Snake Boat races, Kathakali and Mohiniattam dance recitals and musical performances are organized to celebrate Onam in Kerala.
You will see all of Kerala decked up in its best, during the occasion of Onam.

1 comment:

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