Onam 2023: Why and How Does It Get Celebrated?
In Kerala, an Indian province where Malayalam is spoken, Onam is celebrated with a lot of fun. This festival is celebrated to honor Emperor Mahabali's return to earth and Lord Vishnu's Vamana avatar.
Depending on the positions of the planets and constellations, Onam is celebrated in the month of Chingam on the Malayali calendar. It begins in Atham during the Chingam month and continues until Thiruvonam. For ten full days, people celebrate this festival.
The most significant day of the Onam festival is Thirovonam. Atham Nakshatra is referred to as Hasta Nakshatra in the Hindu calendar. This festival falls in August or September, depending on the date, according to the English calendar. This festival, also known as Thiruonam, is observed on Shukla Trayodashi, which falls during the Shravan month.
The Meaning of Onam The Malayali-speaking region of South India known as Kerala is where Onam is most prominently observed. Ditya Raj Mahabali is said to descend from heaven to meet his Malayali subject and bestow happiness and prosperity upon them. To welcome them, preparations begin ten days in advance. Decorated homes and delectable meals are prepared.
Beautiful flowers are used to decorate homes. In addition, Rangoli is prepared at the house's entrance. Their beloved King Mahabali is pleased by this. In India, Onam is one of the most colorful festivals. The Kerala government celebrates this festival as a tourist event due to its popularity. Banquets, boat races, dance, music, and other activities are also held during the Onam festival.
It is also said that during this time in Kerala, the harvest of tea, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, and paddy is complete, and people celebrate this festival to share the joy of a successful harvest with one another.
The Legend of the Onam Festival There is a well-known legend about the Onam festival. The Malayali-speaking population views this tale as the foundation of this festival.
The Great King Mahabali According to myth, there was once a king named King Mahabali. He was the grandson of Prahlad, a beloved devotee of Lord Vishnu, and he reigned in the ancient world. The world's population was becoming increasingly aware of King Bali; His fame was growing as a result of his good deeds and conduct toward his subjects. Even though he was a demon king, King Mahabali used to be very good to his people and respected by them. The king's active involvement in charitable activities was one of his traits.
Conflict Between King Mahabali and Other Gods According to the plan, Lord Vishnu was born as Vamana (Brahman) in Kashyap's house. The child grew into a young man over time. Lord Vishnu, in the form of a Brahmin, traveled to the kingdom of Mahabali and met the king one day while the king was planning a large Yagya. Shukracharya recognized Lord Vishnu and understood his plan when he saw him.
King Mahabali and Lord Vishnu According to tradition, King Mahabali was warned by Shukracharya; "Rajan, this is Vishnu;" he told the king. He must have come to inquire about something from you. Don't give to charity without consulting me first.
King Mahabali, on the other hand, ignored this Shukracharya talk. After that, the king told Lord Vishnu, who appeared as a Brahmin, "You can ask for anything you want." Lord Vishnu asked the king for three steps of land in response to this. The king said with a grin that you could go anywhere you wanted by three steps on land.
Lord Vishnu assumed his cosmic form as the king spoke, covering the entire earth in one step and the heaven in the next. After that, he asked King Bali where he ought to position his third leg. Mahabali, the demon king, grinned and asked, "What should I do, Lord? This world is so small for you." Only my head remains now.
King Mahabali's devotion Lord Vishnu immediately placed his feet on Mahabali's head and instructed him to rule in heaven until the end of the Kali Yuga. Lord Vishnu was greatly influenced by King Mahabali's charity and devotion. Therefore, he asked Mahabali to make a wish for a blessing before going to Heaven.
After that, Mahabali pleaded with Lord Vishnu to allow him to visit his subjects on Earth once a year. His wish was granted by Lord Vishnu. Onam is thought to be the day that King Mahabali comes to the world to meet his devotees.
The Onam Festival's ten days begin on Athan, when King Mahabali gets ready to return to his kingdom on Earth from Heaven. The people of the state get ready to welcome their king on this day.
Chithira is on the second day. On this day, Onam Pookalam, a flower carpet, is made.
The third day, also known as Chodhi Pookkalam, is when four to five different kinds of flowers are used to add another layer to the carpet of flowers.
The fourth day of the festival, Visakam, sees the start of various competitions.
Anizham is the name of the fifth day. The race takes place on this day, when the boat is being prepared.
The festival holidays begin on the sixth day, also known as Thriketa.
Special pujas are held in Moolam temples on the seventh day.
Pooradam is the name of the eighth day. King Mahabali and Vamana's idols are installed at home on this day.
Uthradom is the name of the ninth day. Mahabali enters Kerala on this day.
The tenth day is Thiruvonam. The people of Kerala greet King Mahabali with joy and reverence on this, the most significant day.
Also, this ten-day festival has a lot to do with farmers and farming. In Kerala, numerous crops are ripe and ready at this time. Shravan and Pushpadevi are also revered by Keralans as gods of crop protection and good yield. The people's minds are renewed with hope and confidence as the harvest ripens with joy.
Onam's Celebration and Ritual The entire ten days are devoted to Onam's celebration. During those times, these were the observances and celebrations.
On Attam, members of the family woke up early to don their brand-new "Onakkodi" attire. Thrikkakara appan, Vishnu idols, are held in reverence and mounted by them.
On the east side of their homes, Keralan women decorate with a variety of "Pookkalam," or floral designs. To welcome King Mahabali or Maveli, also known as Onappattukal, they light lamps and sing traditional Onam songs.
In a swinging ceremony on Thiru Onam, a swing is draped from a high tree branch. Women alternately ride this rose-adorned swing while singing enchanting tunes.
On the third day of Onam, friends and family gather for a grand feast known as "Onam Sadya." They make at least 13 dishes on banana leaves, including Payasam (sweet stew), curd, rice, and vegetable curry. Onam Special meal Payasam is considered a must. Coconut, milk, rice, and sugar are used to make it.
The Snake Boat Race, also known as the "Vallamkali," is held. There are hundreds of enormous boats decorated with at least seven drums competing in the race in Alappuzha, Kerala. People come from all over the country and around the world to see this enormous Onam exhibit.
On the ninth day of Onam, the family's eldest member, known as "Karanavar," (Onakazhcha), receives gifts of vegetables and coconut oil. The Nair sects of Kerala are the primary practitioners of this method, where this ritual takes place primarily.
On the tenth day of the Onam holiday, temples and other religious sites host a variety of cultural events and festivals. Great procession events are held, and elephants are decorated with ornaments.
In conclusion, happiness is celebrated at Indian festivals. Festivals are celebrated throughout the year with a variety of rituals and approaches. Onam is primarily about a people's love for their hero and their reaffirmation of their commitment to the moral example set by their hero, King Mahabali.
To all, Happy Onam Minor Study Wishes!