Onam is one of the most prominent festivals of India. The people of South India celebrate it, especially the people of Kerela. The people of Kerela eagerly wait for this festival throughout the year.
What Onam actually is
Onam is a festival that the people of Kerela celebrate as an offering to the gods for their good yield and good harvest. This festival is a festival of agriculture. This ten-day-long festival can be compared to the festival of Diwali in North India. The people of Kerela wait the whole year with bated breath for this festival to arrive.
When is Onam in 2021?
The festival of Onam in 2021 has already started on the 12th of August. It is a ten-day-long festival. So, it will end on 23rd August. According to the calendar, this festival is celebrated on the Trayodashi Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadra. The main festival of Onam will be on 21st August.
Why do people celebrate this festival?
On normal grounds, the people of Kerela celebrate this festival for their good yield and good harvest. On mythological grounds, it is a completely different story. Legends say that people celebrate the Onam festival for the immortal king Bali. On this day, the locals welcome him there.
The people of Kerela believe the legends which say that the subjects were very happy and prosperous in the reign of King Bali. During this time, Lord Vishnu brought the Vamana avatar and saved the kingdom. He did so by taking his entire kingdom in three steps. People assume that they come once every year to visit the subjects. It is this visit which the people celebrate. Onam is also celebrated to celebrate the arrival of a new crop.
The main attractions of Onam
The festival of Onam is celebrated not only in Kerela but in the whole of South India. The local civilians celebrate it with great pomp and show. The people celebrate this day with the Kathakali dance. They also decorate their houses beautifully which is the main attraction of this festival. The other attractions are homemade dishes, rangolis made in the lamps, and the aangals outside the houses.
People start making preparations way before the actual date arrives. On the first day of this festival, the people decorate the elephants and take out their rallies. On this day, the people participate in the snake boat races.
Significance of this festival
People celebrate Onam at the beginning of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar. In this festival, the first day that is day 1, and the last day that is the 10th day is the most important. The people of Kerela celebrate this festival on a large scale.