Kerala has faced the worst floods in over a 100 years. Although the disaster has subsided, the state is still reeling over the loss of land, life and loved ones. The celebrations this year may not be as grand as the previous ones, but we still do believe that the significance of the festival must not be forgotten.
So here’s a gist of what Onam and its grandeur looks like!
Onam is celebrated in the Malayalam calendar of Chingam, corresponding with the month of August-September in the Gregorian Calendar every year.
The celebrations start with a Pookalam (Rangoli with flowers)
The entrances of the houses are decorated with flower rangolis to welcome King Mahabali.
It is then followed by the most symbolic part of the whole festival: Sadhya
Traditionally served on a banana leaf, Sadhya is an elaborate lunch preparation with 11-13 dishes.
The day further extends into people indulging themselves in various traditional performances, acts and games such as:
Pulikali: Trained artists dress up as tigers and poachers and act out hunting scenes.
Snake boat Race: Known as ‘vallamkali’ in Malayalam, the snake boat race is an important part of the 10 day celebrations.
Elephant Processions: This last leg adds the remaining charm and royalty to the Onam celebrations where elephants clad in gold and shimmery outfits march down the streets.