Onam:festival of flowers

Posted: August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in
modern times. Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the
Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall on the month of
Chingam, celebrates the Asura King mahabali’s
annual visit from Patala (the underworld ). Onam is
unique since Mahabali has been revered by the
people of Kerala since prehistory.The King is so
much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that
he comes annually from the nether world to see his
people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali.
that Onam is celebrated
The celebrations begin within a fortnight of the
Malayalam New Year and go on for ten days. All
over the state of Kerala, festive rituals, traditional
cuisine, dance and music mark this harvest festival.

image

The floral carpet, known as ‘Onapookkalam’, is
made out of the gathered blossoms with several
varieties of flowers of differing tints pinched up into
little pieces to serve the decorator’s purpose. It is
considered a work of art accomplished with a
delicate touch and a highly artistic sense of tone
and blending. (In a similar manner North Indians
make something called “Rangoli” which is made of
powders of various colors.) When completed, a
miniature pandal, hung with little festoons is erected
over it.

image

The Onam sadya (feast) is another very
indispensable part of Thiruvonam, and almost
every Keralite attempts to either make or attend
one. The feast is served on plantain leaves and
consists of about 26 dishes, including (but not
limited to)
Chips (especially Banana chips)
Papadum
Various vegetable curries such as
Thoran
Mezhukkupuratti
Kaalan
Olan
Avial
Sambhar
Dal served along with a small quantity of ghee
Erisheri
Rasam
Pickles, both sweet and sour
Two different types of buttermilk
A chutney powder prepared from grated coconut
A series of dessert called Payasam (a sweet dish
made of milk, sugar, jaggery and other traditional
Indian savories) eaten either straight or mixed with a
ripe small plantain.

image

Traditional dance forms including Thiruvathira ,
Kummattikali , Pulikali , Thumbi Thullal etc. are
performed as part of celebrations all over Kerala at
this time. Thiruvathirakali is a women’s dance
performed in a circle around a lamp. Kummattikali is
a famous and colorful-mask dance. In Thrissur,
festivities includes a procession consisting of
caparisoned elephants surrounded by Kummatikali
dancers. The masked dancers go from house to
house performing the colorful Kummattikali .

Happy onam everyone..!!

posted by Hari Krish

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