Enjoy Fabulous Discounts on Bulk Orders.

Onam 2023: Dates, Origins, Traditions and Celebrations

Posted By ServDharm


Posted on June 12 2023

Onam is a vibrant and culturally significant festival celebrated in the southern Indian state of Kerala and it is all about embracing tradition, culture, and the spirit of harvest

It is a time of joy, unity, and reverence for the bountiful harvest season. With its epic tales, fascinating history, grand celebrations, and rich cultural significance, Onam holds a special place in the hearts of Keralites. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating aspects of Onam, exploring its legends, traditions, festivities, and the warmth it brings to the hearts of all who celebrate.

When is Onam being celebrated in 2023?

Onam will be celebrated from Sunday, 20 August, 2023 – Thursday, 31 August, 2023.

Mythological Origins and the Legend of King Mahabali

Onam is rooted in mythology, tracing its origins to the tale of King Mahabali, a legendary ruler of ancient Kerala. According to mythology, King Mahabali was a virtuous and beloved ruler who brought prosperity and happiness to his people. The festival is believed to commemorate his annual return to Kerala during the harvest season, symbolising a time of abundance and fulfilment.

The Ten-Day Celebration

Onam is a ten-day celebration, known as the "Onam Week," filled with vibrant festivities, cultural performances, and traditional rituals. Each day of the festival holds a unique significance and is marked by various customs and activities that showcase the rich heritage of Kerala.

Pookalam: The Floral Art

One of the most iconic and visually stunning aspects of Onam is the creation of Pookalams. These are intricate and colourful flower carpets made with a wide variety of flowers arranged in beautiful patterns. Families and communities come together to create these elaborate floral designs in front of their homes as a symbol of welcome and prosperity.

Vallam Kali: The Boat Race

Onam is famous for the thrilling boat races, known as Vallam Kali, that take place in Kerala's backwaters. Snake boats, also called Chundan Vallams, adorned with colourful flags, race across the water, accompanied by the energetic rhythms of traditional music. The boat races are a spectacle that attracts visitors from around the world, highlighting the spirit of unity, teamwork, and competitive sportsmanship.

Traditional Dance Forms

Onam celebrations are incomplete without the vibrant and graceful traditional dance forms of Kerala. The Kathakali dance-drama, with its elaborate makeup, costumes, and expressive gestures, captivates audiences with mythological stories and folklore. Other traditional dances, such as Mohiniyattam and Thiruvathirakali, also form an integral part of the cultural performances during Onam.

Onasadya: The Grand Feast

Onam is synonymous with the sumptuous and elaborate feast called Onasadya. Served on banana leaves, the feast consists of a wide array of vegetarian dishes, including rice, curries, pickles, and desserts. It is a culinary delight that brings families and communities together, fostering a sense of togetherness, sharing, and hospitality.

Onakkodi: New Clothes and Gift Exchange

Onam is a time for new beginnings and joyous celebrations. One of the customs during the festival is the tradition of buying new clothes, known as Onakkodi, to mark the occasion. Family members exchange gifts as a token of love and appreciation, adding to the festive spirit and strengthening the bonds of relationships.

Onam and the Harvest Season

Onam celebrates the bountiful harvest season, paying homage to the agrarian roots of Kerala. It is a time to express gratitude to nature and the farmers who toil tirelessly to bring forth the harvest. Various rituals and customs during Onam honour the agricultural heritage of Kerala and highlight the significance of sustainable living in harmony with nature.

Things To Remember

Onam is a celebration that embodies the essence of Kerala's rich culture, traditions, and values. With its mythological origins, captivating legends, grand festivities, and culinary delights, Onam is a time of joy, unity, and gratitude. It brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the harvest season, express love and respect for their heritage, and create lasting memories with their loved ones.

As Onam approaches, let us embrace the spirit of this beautiful festival, immersing ourselves in the vibrant colours, mesmerising dance performances, exhilarating boat races, and mouthwatering feasts. May Onam serve as a reminder to appreciate the abundance in our lives, nurture our relationships, and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings that surround us. Let the warmth, cultural significance, and joy of Onam fill our hearts and inspire us to spread love, unity, and compassion in our communities. On this auspicious occasion, let us come together to celebrate the spirit of Onam and cherish the beauty of Kerala's rich cultural heritage.

Written by Puja Paul




Leave a Comment