The Onam celebrations for ten days are carried to please the king who visits his land, once a year. The ‘Thiruvonam’, the tenth day is found to be the significant day as the king comes on this day mainly. People want to make their king happy, by expressing their happiness through celebrations and entertainments.

Some of the Rituals of Onam:

Another amazing play of Onam is snake boat race called ‘Vallamkali’, where Vallam is the boat and kali means play. There are ‘Chundan Vallams’ which will carry loads of men in it, even about 100-150 men. As a part of Onam, the men will sing songs to the rhythm, thus making their boat ride an enjoying event. The spectators are amazed by the speed with which the boat proceeds and it’s really a wonderful experience to see the well decorated boats, mostly held in well known rivers like Pampa, Payippad Lake of Alappuzha, Chembakulam of Ambalappuzha etc.

During onam there will be a big carnival arranged which will expose lot of stories of Mahabali and Vamana and there will be women and men dressed as statues exhibiting the culture of Kerala too. All will be moving as a procession for the people to view .The procession is named as Athachamayam. In olden days the Maharajas used to travel up to the fort of Thripunithara with the whole retinue. Nowadays people carry out similar procession maintaining its imperialism. The procession may involve barded elephants, dance shows by some of the skilled performers and music carried along with it.

Another event called ‘Aranmula Uthrittathi’ is well known boat event which is conducted .this event describes the Lord Krishna’s story of river cross on that special day. Since the spirit of the lord is conceived here, there is no contest for this show and they will also deliver offerings on the particular occasion.

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Onam is supposed to be one of the richest festivals in Kerala, which is considered as “God’s own country”. The festival Onam mainly descends in the Chingam month, according to Malayalam calendar which comes on August/September and it symbolizes the return of great king Mahabali who comes and visits his kingdom once in a year .Onam starts from day “Atham to thiruvonam”, for about 10 days and it exhibits the tradition and culture of kerala.

Ten day Onam Celebrations:

Pookalam is carried out for these days which is elaborately decorated flower arrangement, along with the feast that follows, with some entertaining arts like Kaikottikali where the women make a circle and dance by clapping their hands .Another feature of Onam celebration is Snake Boat race which will be held in the harvest season and participants from all over kerala wil participate in it.

During the ten days, the cultural heritage is exhibited and the carnival is a treat to everybody and everyone in kerala, without any race discrimination celebrate onam. Feast of onam called ‘Onasadya’ contains about 13 side dishes and people sit down with banana leaves on the floor to have the food.

Onam will be an opportunity to show their talents as there will be lot of games of which some of them are played by women and some by men. The games that men get involved are ‘Panthukali’(games with ball),Attakalam, Kayyankali etc, while women usually conduct some entertaining activities like Pookalam(flower arrangement) which is done in order to welcome the king.

Kaykottikali, thiruvathirakkali, thumbi thullal, all of which are done in groups, will have some graceful steps which they do for entertainment. Other folk dance which is common is Pulikali, where the men paint themselves as the body of a tiger and dance according to the tunes and ‘Kummati Kali’, where the dress worn is similar to Kathakali.

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