ONAM THIRUVONAM 2023: The Malayali population of Kerala celebrates Onam, a raucous 10-day harvest festival. This joyful event honours King Mahabali’s homecoming, a just and kind king who is credited with bringing prosperity. Onam is a time for celebrating with family, indulging in regional cuisine, playing games, and dancing. The event inspires reflection on life’s blessings as it personifies hope and renewal. Onam takes place in 2023 from August 20 to August 31.
The pinnacle of Onam, Thiruvonam, is of utmost significance. On August 31, 2023, it occurs. The Thiruvonam Nakshatram, according to Drik Panchang, starts on August 29 at 2:43 am and ends at 11:50 pm.
Onam, which has its roots in agricultural celebration, honours King Mahabali’s return home. According to legend, Mahabali won the hearts of the people of Kerala with his fair and compassionate leadership. The people wished for his return after his death, and they get their wish every year when Mahabali comes back to Kerala for one day.
Onam Puja Rituals: A variety of puja rituals are included in the celebrations. In the early hours of the morning, family members can be seen dressing in new traditional garb and worshipping Thrikkakara appam or Vaman Vishnu idols. Then, at the east door of their home, women creatively create Pookkalam, elaborate floral rangolis. Lamps are lit, and sweet Onam melodies ring forth, giving King Mahabali a hearty greeting.
Thiru Onam highlights a swinging ritual in which a swing is hung on a tall tree branch. Onam Sadya, a celebration feast with 13 dishes that include rice, avial, curd, and payasam, is served on fresh banana leaves on the third day. Several shared traditions exist, despite regional variances, such as:
Apookalam: To convey a reverent greeting to King Mahabali, elaborate floral rangolis known as Apookalam are created.
Onam Sadya is a traditional dinner in Kerala that features a variety of mouthwatering foods like rice, curries, veggies, and sweets.
Onam Vallamkali, an exciting snake boat racing that is a staple of Onam in Kerala, is a celebration that symbolises solidarity and vigour.
Families give vegetables and coconut oil to their oldest member, known as Karanavar, as a sign of respect on the ninth day. On the last day of the festival, various cultural celebrations take place in temples and holy places.