Onam 2021 - Thiruvonam celebrations

Onam date for the year 2021 is August 21. Onam is a 10-day festival celebrated by the people of Kerala in India. There is no such solid base on which we can depict the exact start of this festival. Tenth day of Onam is the most important day for the people of Kerala and is called Thiruvonam. The meaning of Thiruvonam is Shravana Nakshatra. The puja of Onam festival is done in Chingam month (August-September) as per Malayalam calendar, the time when Shravan Nakshatra is having its influence on this month.

Onam festivals in 2017

History of Onam

The legend behind the celebrations of Onam is associated with demon king - Mahabali. He was very kind-hearted and generous. All his people loved him a lot. He was very powerful and ruled the three Lokas i.e. Prithvi Lok, Deva Lok and the Patala Lok. As Devtas were not happy to see him to rule the heaven, they requested Lord Vishnu to help them in this matter.

Lord Vishnu took Vamana Avtar as a dwarf brahmin and went to King Mahabali for some donation. As he loved to help the needy and poor, he also asked Vamana regarding his wish. Vamana took a word from him and then asked for three steps of land. King Mahabali readily agreed for the Vamana's request. Vamana increased his size, placed first step on Earth, second on heaven and third on the head of King Mahabali which he himself offered to Vamana. The King was immediately sent to the Patala Lok (nether world). Lord Vishnu became happy from him and on his request allowed him to visit his people once a year. From then only, Thiruvonam is considered to be the visit day of King Mahabali, to his people.

Significance of Onam

Onam festival is celebrated by the Keralites with full joy and enthusiasm. Through Onam, people shed their bad experiences and memories of life and make a new start. Onam also promotes harmony and brotherhood among people. Onam spread happiness in the society and people enjoy every bit of it for whole ten day celebration.

Thiruvonam Celebrations

  1. Atham (First day): This day starts with daily routine and then people visit temple to worship. People have bananas and fried papad as their breakfast. Many people prefer this breakfast for all the ten days of Onam. Then people become busy in making Onam flower carpet (pookalam).
  2. Chithira (Second day): Worshipping and making prayers are the first thing to do on this day also. Some more fresh and new flowers are added to the pookalam by the women and men are busy in securing the pookalam.
  3. Chodhi (Third day): This day is dedicated to do shopping for the Thiruvonam day. Markets are full of shopping material to offer to people.
  4. Visakam (Fourth day): Women spend this day in preparing pickles, chips and other snacks for the tenth day of Onam. Flower carpet making competition are also one of the important event that held at many places.
  5. Anizham (Fifth day): Great snake boat race is the main attraction of this day for the people of Kerala.
  6. Thriketa (Sixth day): People go to visit their loved ones and enjoy with them. On this day, various cultural events are also organized.
  7. Moolam (Seventh day): Various kinds of foods are available for the people in markets. Women does shopping of different type of decoration material to make the look their houses more beautiful.
  8. Pooradam (Eighth day): This day is spent in making small clay idols called 'Maa'. These idols are in pyramid shapes and people offer flowers to them in respect.
  9. Uthiradam (Ninth day): This day is full of excitement when women make beautiful and huge pookalams and everyone wait for their King to arrive. This day is also called as First Onam.
  10. Thiruvonam (Tenth day): People start their day with wishing each other for the great day. Pookalam with huge beauty is prepared along with a magnificent food platter called Sadhya. This day is also famous as Second Onam and full of cultural events with lots of decorations and merry making.

    Two more days are there after Thiruvonam which are celebrated by Keralites, extending the celebration period, with a total of twelve days.

  11. Avittom (Eleventh day): This day is called Third Onam. People of Kerala celebrate it in different manner as per their tradition. Some flow the Onathappan statue in river or sea which is kept in the middle of pookalam till Thiruvonam. After this ritual, flower carpet is removed and cleaned. Some people prefer to keep their pookalam till the day of Pulikali (the famous Tiger dance).
  12. Chatthayam (Twelfth day): The celebration of Onam festival ends up with a grand dance festival.

We hope that you will find this festival very helpful and wishes you a very Happy Onam.

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