Onam Festival Kerala
One of the many celebrations in Kerala is the Onam Festival. It’s a Hindu celebration and is the biggest festival in Southern India. Onam Festival falls during the Malayali month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. Onam (harvest festival in Kerala) is the official state festival of Kerala with public holidays that start four days from Onam Eve.
The most flamboyant celebrations take place in Kochi, Trivandrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam. People decorate the ground in front of their houses with striking flower arrangements in beautiful patterns (pookalam) to welcome the King.
The festival is also celebrated with new clothes and feasts served on banana leaves. There are also Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Onathappan (worship), Onam Kali (Tug of War), Thumbi Thullal (women’s dance), Kummati kali (mask dance), Kaikottikali dance, Onathallu (martial arts), Onavillu (music), Kazhchakkula (plantain offerings), Onapottan (costumes) and Atthachamayam (folk songs and dance).
India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colourful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates ‘Tourist Week’ for Kerala during Onam celebrations (virtual celebrations will also take place). Typically, thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam.