Sensational South
Sensational South



*~| Happy Onam | ~*

supercool3 Viewbie

Crazy Creatives Lead
Joined: 17 February 2010
Posts: 11339

Posted: 05 September 2014 at 10:06pm | IP Logged

Celebrations are a part of everyone's lives.
You hear about one or the other celebration going on all the time,
Some of which are personal, while others are for everyone.

Today is a really special day in this particular state,
because it brings together all the people who live there.
Many years ago, there was a demon king, who lived in this state.
His era was known as the "Golden Era" of this state!

He was revered by all the people.
However, his era came to an end.
But upon seeing this king's devotion, Lord Vishnu himself granted the wishes of this king.
The king's wish was to visit his people at least once an year.

And this "once an year" is what this special day is all about. 

This state is Kerala

The king is known as King Mahabali

And this day is celebrated as Onam

Onam is the state festival in Kerala. This day commemorates the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu, along with the homecoming of King Mahabali. 

Onam is also considered to be a harvest festival. Though it is known to be a Hindu festival, this day is important for all Malayalees

Onam usually occurs during the Chingam month on the Malayalam calendar. This is sometime in between August and September. 

The festival is a reflection of the rich heritage of Kerala. The 10 days in which the festival is celebrated captures the essence of the State and its history.

H a y   O m !


Edited by supercool3 - 05 September 2014 at 10:09pm

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supercool3 Viewbie

Crazy Creatives Lead
Joined: 17 February 2010
Posts: 11339

Posted: 05 September 2014 at 10:07pm | IP Logged

Legend says that a long time ago the demon King Mahabali ruled the state of Kerala. He was popular among his people for being wise and was a favourite of all.

Eventually, his rule spread towards heaven as well. This however scared the other gods, who felt that their position was being challenged. 

Thinking that King Mahabali may become too powerful, the mother of Devas, Aditi, pleaded Lord Vishnu to do something about this. Thus, Lord Vishnu appeared as the dwarf, Vamana.

When Vamana visited Mahabali, Mahabali was pleased by the knowledge and beliefs that Vamana held. Thus, King Mahabali granted Vamana a wish.

In return, Vamana asked for three pieces of land. As soon as the king gave it to him, Vamana grew in size, even towering over heaven. 

He placed his first step on Earth and his second step on the heaven. King Mahabali had nothing else to give so he offered that Vamana place his third step on his head. With the third step, King Mahabali was sent into the underworld. 

However, Lord Vishnu granted King Mahabali a boon. This boon was that because King Mahabali is attached to his people, he would be allowed to return to them once each year. 

An alternate version of the legend says that King Mahabali was a worshiper of Lord Vishnu. The king was a good and honest ruler. However, his only weakness was his ego. 

Thus, Lord Vishnu took on the Vamana avatar to eradicate this ego from one of his devotees. 

When Vamana visited, King Mahabali asked him what he wanted because he believed he can give anything. Vamana asked the king for three pieces of land.

When Vamana grew in size and conquered both the Earth and the Heaven, King Mahabali finally realized that he was nothing compared to the universal nature of God. 

Upon realizing this, the king offered his head to Vamana. As a result the king was sent to the underworld, but was also allowed to visit his state once a year. 

Edited by supercool3 - 05 September 2014 at 10:06pm

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supercool3 Viewbie

Crazy Creatives Lead
Joined: 17 February 2010
Posts: 11339

Posted: 05 September 2014 at 10:08pm | IP Logged

The celebrations for Onam usually begins 10 days in advance. These 10 days are attributed to the different rituals/customs, and they all reach a conclusion with the final day.

1) Atham - On this day, it is believed that King Mahabali is making all preparations to descend in Kerala.  Households begin to lay the Pookalam (the floral carpet). These Pookalam start small in size, and usually grow as the days pass. On the first day, only yellow flowers are used to create the design.

2) Chithira - This day is celebrated by adding an additional two layers of flowers to the Pookalam. The colours of these additional flowers are to be different from the yellow flowers. People also begin cleaning their houses.

3) Chodhi - No festival is complete without the shopping. Hence from this day onwards, people start buying gifts, clothing, jewellery, etc. Also, about an additional 3-5 layers of flowers are added to the Pookalam.

4) Vishakam - This day is auspicious because it used to serve as the day for important market sales. Today, there are many different competitions that take place.

5) Anizham - The fifth day kick starts the popular Snake Boat Race of Aranmula. The boat race itself usually takes place as part of post-Onam celebrations. However, the construction of the boat(s) itself start from this day onwards 

6) Thriketa - As the main harvest day nears, it creates a lot of excitement. Thus, the government usually gives a holiday from this day onwards so everyone can gather to meet with their families and friends.

7) Moolam - The government joins the celebration from this day onwards. In major cities, like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, etc, fireworks can be seen. 

8) Pooradam - On the eighth day, the statues of Mahabali and Vamana are washed and installed at the center of the Pookalam.

9) Uthradam - Known as the eve of Onam, this day is celebrated in a grand manner because it is believed that this is when the king starts to descend onto Kerala. Also with the main Onam day just hours away, there are usually a lot of last minute preparations that are happening.

10) Thiruvonam - The 10th day is believed to be when the King was sent to the underworld by Vamana. As Mahabali is believed to have returned to Kerala on this day, each year it is considered to be very auspicious. The activities start early in the morning itself as family members wear new clothes and get ready. Also, the importance of the Pookalam is that is a way for the people to welcome the king. The Onam Sadya (Special Onam Buffet) is prepared and many activities take place. 

The two to three days that follow this 10th day are considered auspicious because it marks the return of King Mahabali to the underworld. During this period, the statues of King Mahabali and Vamana that were placed on the Pookalam would be taken and immersed in a nearby river. After this, the Pookalam is removed. 

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Aahaana Global Moderator

IF General Sections
Joined: 22 October 2005
Posts: 37104

Posted: 06 September 2014 at 1:10am | IP Logged
Ella Malayalikalkum Hridayam niranja Onaashamsakal Hug

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*Dev.* Coolbie

Joined: 09 January 2012
Posts: 21957

Posted: 06 September 2014 at 1:35am | IP Logged
I remember that we used to celebrate Onam when we were at Tamil regions during childhood...and then now we only get happy here. Happy Onam to all of you.Hug

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AARMAY1 Goldie

Joined: 19 August 2011
Posts: 2077

Posted: 06 September 2014 at 1:55am | IP Logged
H a y   O m to all of you

Edited by AARMAY1 - 06 September 2014 at 1:54am

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sona02 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 15 July 2012
Posts: 7200

Posted: 06 September 2014 at 1:55am | IP Logged
happy Onam to all Smile

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i_love_arshi Senior Member

Joined: 02 August 2012
Posts: 272

Posted: 06 September 2014 at 2:06am | IP Logged
ella malayalikalkum aishwaryathinteyum samrudhiyudeyum ponnonashamsakal...Smile

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