Onam: What makes the Festival unique ?

The Onam festival is celebrated in the Chingam month, the first month of the Malayalam Calendar. The festival marks New Year for Malayali Hindus.

Onam festivities last for 4 to 10 days. The first day of Onam celebrations, known as Atham, and the tenth day, Thiruvonam is regarded as most important.

The legend goes that a mighty demon king called Mahabali ruled over Kerala. Mahabali was so powerful that he even extended his rule to the heavens.

Fearing that Mahabali might become over-powerful, the Devas approached Lord Vishnu and requested him curtail Mahabali’s powers.

Vishnu, disguised as Vamana, asked for a gift that he could measure in three paces. Mahabali agreed to it.

In the first two steps, Vamana covered the sky and the heaven. Then for the third step, Mahabali offered his head that pushed him to the netherworld.

Lord Vishnu granted him a boon that he could return to his kingdom once a year. So, Onam is celebrated to mark the homecoming of King Mahabali.

The Onam festivities start at Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara temple, Kochi. This Vishnu temple is the focal point of Onam celebrations.

Onam festival is marked by dance events, boat races, martial arts, floral designs, prayers, grand feasts, & donating food & clothes for charity

People play sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Kutukutu, Ambeyyal (Archery), and combats such as Kayyankali and Attakalam

Do you know the tales associated with Onam. Swipe up the link below to know