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onam festival

Onam – The Harvest Festival of Gods Own Country.

Onam is the the most popular and grandest festival of Kerala, celebrated in fine weather and with great spirit. Mythology has it that onam is celebrated to welcome Mahabali or Maveli, the erstwhile king of Kerala who comes on a visit to his subjects every year from the underworld. Accoding to local myths, Mahabali was a powerful and popular ruler under whom the kingdom prospered like never before that even the gods grew jealous of him and Lord Vamana buried him to the

underworld called Patala. A blend of myth and reality, Onam is part of the collective cultural consciousness of Keralites. It brings back nostalgic memories, on the wings of folkfore, of a bygone era of prosperity, equality and righteousness, under the golden reign of the King Mahabali. Year after year for centuries, the people of Kerala, irrespective of caste, creed or colour, have joined together to celebrate the yearly visit of their banished king. Onam in essence is a harvest festival and an occasion for merrymaking and sports that spans ten days, between the atham asterism and Onam asterism of the Chingam month in the Malayalam calendar. During the ten days of intense celebrations, children prepare floral designs called pookkalam in the courtyards to welcome Onathapan( as king Mahabali is affectionately called ). Mouth-watering traditional dishes are prepared everyday and a special traditional feast is prepared on the Thiruvanam day- the tenth and most important of them all. People gather at their ancestral homes and savor the grand feast on plantain leaves. Women engage in traditional dances of feminine grace and charm like Kaikottikkali and Thiruvathirakali after the grand feast. Children engage in various games including oonjalattam (Soaring high on the swing) and Thumbithullal. Snake-boat races and backwater carnivals are also organized as part of Onam celebrations. The government has since long been observing Onam as a national festival and state-sponsored onam celebrations are held on a grand scale. Come visit Kerala during the next Onam and plunge into the mood of festivity and celebrations with Indian Festival Tours .


This programme can be tailor made to suite the number of days you have in hand yet showing you this spectacular Festival.

(Festival dates are based on local calendar and subject to change)

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