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Guide to 2014 Onam Festival in Kerala

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Guide to 2014 Onam Festival in Kerala

Onam pookalam arrangement.

www.flickr.com user asifch
Onam is a traditional ten day harvest festival that marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. It’s a festival rich in culture and heritage.

When is Onam Celebrated:

Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). In 2014, the most important day of Onam (known as Thiru Onam) is on September 7. Rituals commence approximately 10 days before Thiru Onam, on Atham.

There are actually four days of Onam. First Onam will be on September 15, the day before Thiru Onam, while fourth Onam will be on September 18. Onam festivities continue throughout these days.

Find out when is Onam in future years.

Where is Onam Celebrated:

Onam is celebrated in the state of Kerala, in southern India. It's the biggest festival of the year there. The most spectacular celebrations take place in Kochi, Trivandrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam.

The state government celebrates Tourism Week in Kerala during Onam. Much of Kerala's culture is showcased during the festivities.

How is Onam Celebrated:

People strikingly decorate the ground in front of their houses with flowers arranged in beautiful patterns (pookalam) to welcome the King. The festival is also celebrated with new clothes, feasts served on banana leaves, dancing, sports, games, and snake boat races.

Join in the celebrations at these 5 Kerala Onam festival attractions.

What Rituals are Performed During Onam:

On Atham (10 days before Onam), people start the day with an early bath, perform prayers, and start creating their floral decorations on the ground in front of their houses. The floral decorations (pookalams) continue during the 10 day lead up to Onam, and pookalam competitions are organized by various organizations.

A lot of cooking takes place during Onam, with the highlight being a grand feast called Ona Sadya. It's served on the main Onam day. The cuisine is elaborate and varied. Try it for yourself at one of the quality hotels in Trivandrum, which have specials for the occasion.

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