Onam is a festival celebrated in God’s own country Kerala . It is the time of the year when Kerala is exhilarated with trumpets, drums, elephants, boat races, dances, art, music, floral decorations, lights, colours, rituals and the delicious Onasadya without which the celebrations are incomplete.
The festival is celebrated in the month of Chingam according to the Malayalam calendar which is equivalent to the Hindu solar calendar followed by people in other parts of India. The festival is spread over 10 days and culminates with Thiruvonam, the most important day.
Onam 2020 Date
The first Onam day, Uthradom will be observed on August 30.
The Uthradam Nakshatra begins at 1:03 PM on August 29 and ends at 1:52 PM on August 30.
The second Onam day, Thiruvonam will be observed on August 31.
The Thiruvonam Nakshatra begins at 1:52 PM on August 30 and ends at 3:04 PM on August 31.
The third Onam day, Avvittom will be celebrated on September 1.
The Avittam Nakshatra begins at 3:04 PM on August 31 and ends at 4:38 PM on September 1.
The concluding Onam day, Chatayam will be celebrated on September 2.
The Chathayam Nakshatra begins at 4:38 PM on September 1 and ends at 6:34 PM on September 2nd.
Onam Celebration and Significance
Atham, Chitira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Utthradom and finally Thiruvonam together make Onam an elaborate ceremony.
It is believed as per Hindu legends that Onam commemorates King Mahabali, who was believed to be the descendant of a Brahmin sage named Kashyapa, the great-grandson of Hiranyakashipu, and the grandson of Prahlada, who was devoted to Lord Vishnu. The scriptures suggest that Onam is the grand annual homecoming of King Mahabali.
People celebrate Onam with diverse range of activities and with great pomp and enthusiasm. The life of the festival lies in its cultural practices with a repertoire of events ranging from boat races, dance forms, florals, colourful art, food and traditional clothing
Pulikali or Leopard dance is also known as Kaduvakali, is a recreational folk art form of Kerala. It is performed on the fourth Onam day where performers paint themselves as tigers in shades of bright yellow, red and orange and dance to the beats of traditional instruments like Chenda, Thakil and Udukku.
Thiruvathirakali is a popular dance form performed by women on the day of Onam. This is accompanied by Thiruvathira Paattu which are the folk songs of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The group of women dance around the Nilavilaku (a standing lamp) showing the grace of the feminine.
The traditional snake boat race is an essential event during the festival of Onam. It includes races of a various kind such as paddled longboats, snake boats and traditional boats of Kerala. The crowd sings Vachipaatu or the boat song during the boat race and encourage the canoers. This event occurs in the Pampa River of Kerala.
For the Malayalee community, the main attraction is undoubtedly the traditional Onam sadhya. It is prepared with a few specific ingredients namely some seasonal vegetables, mango and lime pickle, yam chips, tamarind and ginger chutney, rice, coconut essence, pachadi , moru , avial , rasam and pappadam. It is served on a banana leaf.
Onam 2020 celebrations shall remain low-key due to the coronavirus pandemic. As per the latest reports, public gatherings and collective celebrations have been prohibited by the state government to contain the spread of the disease.