Onam 2017 - Thiruvonam celebrations
Onam date for the year 2017 is September 4. 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.
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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Chodhi (Third day): This day is dedicated to do shopping for the
Thiruvonam day. Markets are full of shopping material to offer to people.
- 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.
- Anizham (Fifth day): Great snake boat race is the main attraction
of this day for the people of Kerala.
- Thriketa (Sixth day): People go to visit their loved ones and enjoy
with them. On this day, various cultural events are also organized.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
Know more festivals of 2017