Onam, the state festival of Kerala, is celebrated in the first month ‘Chingam’of the Malayalee Calendar .The celebrations of Onam go ten days in Late August or early September marking some high-spirited celebrations down south. It is also the annual harvest festival of the state and people in the southern Indian coastal state of Kerala go crazy over with ten days of feasting, boat races, song, dance and merriment. No wonder the Government of Kerala declares this time every year as the Tourism Week.
This year the celebrations for this festival start on 7th September with the mega celebrations falling on the 16th September.
Historic significance of Onam
The most popularly quoted legend with the festival is related to the demon king, Mahabali. It is said that Mahabali was a generous and kind hearted king of Kerala. He was powered by a boon granted to him by Lord Brahma, he was invincible and thus gradually won over the entire earth.The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali, affectionately called Onathappan, that Onam is celebrated.
Major celebrations of Onam in Kerela
A flower carpet called ‘Pookalam’ is laid in front of every house to welcome the advent of the vanquished king.
A lavish feast called ‘Sadhya’ is served on a plantain leaf along with the lingering aroma of the sweet Payasam.
Spectacular parades of caparisoned elephants and many other cultural sport events and carnivals are organized across the state.
The Grand Boat Race - One of the biggest attractions of Onam, the ‘Vallamkali’ or boat races of Karuvatta, Payippad, Aranmula and Kottayam. Hundreds of oarsmen row traditional boats to the rhythm of drums and cymbals. These long graceful Snake Boats called ‘Chundans’ are named after their exceedingly long hulls and high sterns that resemble the raised hood of a cobra.
Onam In Dubai
Expatriates from the South Indian state of Kerala, who form half of the Indian expatriate community in the UAE, are fully geared up to celebrate their harvest festival, Onam.
The Federation of Kerala Colleges Alumni (FKCA) in Dubai organizes various fests along with the traditional feast that inludes up to 24-dishes in their Onasadya menu.
If you are not visiting Kerela during the Onam time, you can still relish the mouth watering delicacies of Onam served by a various restaurants in major cities.
Below are a few handpicked restaurants that you can visit:
- Hornbys Pavilion Restaurant in Fort
- The Deluxe Hotel just off DN Road in Fort
- Rice Boat, Bandra East
- Taste of Kerala, Fort
- Dakshin – Sheraton Hotel, Saket
- Spice Water Trail, Greater Kailash.
- The Paramount Hotel
- Imperial Restaurant Shivaji Nagar
- Karavalli at The (Taj) Gateway Hotel
- Aditya Park Inn
- Dakshin – ITC Kakatiya
- Dum Dum restaurant
- Peshawari restaurants
- Onam Restaurant AL GHUWAIR SHARJAH
Onam is for all
Although this festival has its origin in Hindu mythology, Onam or Thiruonam originated as a joyous annual reminiscence of the golden rule of King Mahabali, a mythical king, who ruled Kerala a very long time ago. It recalls the sacrifice of the great king, his true devotion to God, his human pride and his ultimate redemption. Onam welcomes the spirit of a great king, and assures him that his people are happy and wish him well.
You may also like