Onam is one of the most popular festivals of Kerala celebrated all over South India. Onam 2016 will be celebrated on September 13.
Onam 2016 Date
When: 13th September, 2016
Onam Festival - The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam is a time for sports, festivities and ritual celebrations in Kerala. According to the legend Kerala was once ruled by the kind, generous and valiant demon-king Mahabali, who had won over the kingdom of heaven rightfully. However, as always Indra and other gods ran to Lord Vishnu to enlist his help and He promised them the kingdom of Heaven once again. Knowing about his generous and charitable nature, he went to the king in form of a Brahmin child called 'Vaman' and asked for three steps of land. Mahabali readily granted it to the child. However, Lord Vishnu then kept on increasing in size till he measured all of the Earth in one step and all of the Heaven with another. When he asked Mahabali, where to keep his third foot, the humbled king offered his head to him. Touched by the devotion and humility of the kind, Vishnu made him the King of the nether world and granted him the request that he may visit his kingdom every year for four days.
Keralites celebrate Onam to welcome their benevolent king and organize colorful aquatic festivals on the sacred Pampa River as part of the celebrations. A time to reap the harvest, to celebrate and to rejoice, Onam is usually held at the end of August or beginning of September, less than a fortnight after the Malayalam New Year begins. It is the biggest festival of Kerala. The 10-day long festival features rituals like buying new clothes, delicious traditional cuisines, dance and music. The last day called the Thiruonam is the most important. The elephant processions of Trichur and the Kathakali performances of Cheruthuruthy are some of the most reputed events during the festival. Pulikali or Kaduvakali, the rhythmic dance by the performers painted like tigers in bright yellow, red and black moving with the beats of instruments like 'udukku' and 'thakil' is one of the highlights of the festival.