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Hindu mythology primarily revolves around the stories of trinity of Gods i.e. ‘Lord Brahma’ the creator, ‘Lord Vishnu’ the preserver and ‘Lord Shiva’ the destroyer. Here in Kerala, Onam is one of the major festivals that are celebrated every year. Onam is related with the Lord Vishnu’s incarnation (or Avtaar) i.e. Vamana Avtaar. For Kerala Tour Operator (BEST TRAVEL DEALS DURING ‘ONAM’) Call Us Now – (+91) 9899095777, (+91) 9810483201 or Send Email to us – email@example.com
Kerala’s Onam Story
Though there are many versions of the Onam story are present in kerala but the most famous version goes like this, Lord Vishnu once saved the life of a small child ‘Prahlad’ who belonged to the demon clan (Asur Vansh). Prahlad’s grandchild ‘Mahabali’ who was also a disciple of ‘Lord Vishnu’ grew into a very powerful King and was on the verge of conquering all the three worlds i.e. Earth, Netherworld and Sky or the Heaven. The arrogance or ego got inherited in his heart and mind. He started believing there was no comparison or match to his pride. Once he planned to perform a specialized ritual (yagam) i.e. Vishwajith Yagam to get the weapon to defeat Lord Indra (King of Heavens) in order to pursue his three world winning spree. During this Yagam he proudly announced that he will give anything to anyone who sought donation from him. Lord Vishnu had earlier decided to teach Mahabali a lesson in accordance to which Lord Vishnu had already taken an incarnation on Earth in the form of Vamana Brahmin. Vamana’s physical appearance was of a dwarf or a small man with dark skin colour. Vamana (Lord Vishnu) visited the King Mahabali while he was performing the Yagam and asked to grant a favour. It is said at that specific moment Mahabali’s teacher or Guru Shukracharya recognised Lord Vishnu in the formof Vamana and warned Mahabali to accept the request of Vamana. But King Mahabali overlooked the advice and agreed to fulfil the wish of Vamana. Vamana asked for land equivalent to three paces of his feet and King Mahabali accepted his wish by asking him to start measuring three footsteps. Just then Lord Vishnu’s Avtaar i.e. Vamana grew his body size enormously so in the first step he covered the entire earth and in second footstep he covered the entire sky then Vamana asked King Mahabali where to keep his third and the final footstep. King Mahabali realizing his mistake asked Vamana to put his third footstep on the head of the King himself. Vamana (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation) did that and King Mahabali went to the underworld or the netherworld forever. Lord Vishnu made Mahabali the King of netherworld but it is said that on Onam every year King Mahabali visit the people of Kerala to ensure their everlasting happiness and growth. Since then the festival of Onam has been celebrated in Kerala every year in maximum festivities all over the state.
Kerala’s Onam Ritual Days
The Onam celebration and rituals goes for 10 days in Kerala, first day is known as Atham, it is said that King Mahabali starts his journey from netherworld or underworld (Pataal in Hindi) to meet his people in Kerala on this day in the Chingam month as per local Malayalam Calendar. Basically it’s the official starting of all the socio cultural festivities associated with the Onam festival. Second day is known as Chithira, which is marked as a second layer of colour upon the Pookalam (it is a design or rangoli made from flowers). Third day is known as Chodhi, which is marked by making the Pookalam bit bigger with more layers of flowers, also people do all the shopping on this day. Fourth day is Vishakam, earlier it was the harvest sale day in the markets, and nowadays cultural events including Pookalam making competition are organized on this day. Fifth day is Anizham is celebrated with the famous snake boat races in many parts of Kerala. Sixth day Thriketa the celebrations of Onam come to a full swing with bank, school and offices holidays and enhancing Pookalam Designs with more layers of coloured flowers. The Seventh day Moolam is for cultural celebration all across temples with various rituals and dances. There are customary lunch buffets which are petite versions of ‘Ona Sadya’. The whole Thiruvananthapuram City is decorated with lights by the government efforts to promote the festivities and tourism during this period. The eight day Pooradam effigies of King Mahabali and Vamana are kept in the centre of Pookalam also there are lot of shopping festivals all across markets in Kerala. Ninth day Uthradom also known as Onam eve, people celebrate it in very big way with lots of lights, fireworks, cultural fests, lunches or feasts and shopping carnivals all over the places in Kerala. It is said that on this day King Mahabali reaches Kerala to look after his people. The Tenth day Thiruvonam (where thiru means auspicious) is also birthdays of many temple Gods and is celebrated in a big way including games, dances, cultural events, lights, fireworks, shopping, feasts, and spiritual rituals etc.
For Kerala Tour Operator (BEST TRAVEL DEALS DURING ‘ONAM’) Call Us Now – (+91) 9899095777, (+91) 9810483201 or Send Email to us – firstname.lastname@example.org