Malayalis in Kerala and all over the world celebrate the festival of Onam with traditional gaiety and fervor. This year the festival falls on 13 and 14 September 2016.
The festivities include some activities which include a traditional and sumptuous feast or onamsadhya; Rangolis made of flowers, dance performance which includes the traditional forms like Kathakali, Mohaniattam, as well as Theyyam and Kaykolkali.
RANGOLIS MADE OF FLOWERS OR ATHTHA-POO
The fervor with which adults and children celebrate the festival is truly infectious. Pookalams or rangolis made of flowers, as well as ATHTHA-POO can be seen decorating the approach of every house. According to legend the Asura king Mahabali was tricked by Vamana and sent to the neither world.
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However, the King asked for one favor-Let he visit his dear subjects, once every year. Folklore says that King Bali comes to visit his dear subjects every year on Onam.
The colorful flower patterns are drawn with utmost devotion, to welcome him outside every house. Various themes like the snake boat race or social issues are depicted in these rangolis.
Onam sandhya or the feast is an essential part of Onam celebrations. The feast consists of at least 11 to 12 dishes and is served on plantain leaves. Main dishes include boiled rice, sambhar, different vegetable preparations like avial, thoran, pachadi, pappadam, plantain dishes, buttermilk, and a sweet dessert payasam.
— Sai Bhargavi (@BhargaviKissan) September 13, 2016
Onam is also known as the harvest festival though not much agriculture is left in the highly literate state. Most of the income comes from expatriate Indians who mostly work in the Gulf Countries. The full Onam festivities continue for ten days, and the start of the celebrations begins with ‘Athachamayam’’.
It envisages multihued processions accompanied by beautifully decked elephants along with floats and folk dance performances complemented by traditional music. In the bygone era of the Kings, the Maharaja of Kochi used to lead the procession from Tripunithura to the Vamanamoorthy temple at Thrikakkara