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dressBeing a malayalee, this is the mandatory Onam post. Yes this about the Onam the festival of prosperity & happiness. 😛  Onam is the festival of Kerala which falls during the Malayalam month of ‘chingam (Aug-Sep). It’s a 10 day festival celebrating the arrival of harvest season. Also it’s believed that on the 10th day the mythical king ‘Mahabali’ would come to visit us all, so we welcome him by arranging flower carpet and other celebrations. All the family members who live far away return to their ancestral home to celebrate Onam.

Here are some Core attractions of Onam: 😀

Onapookalam (Flower carpet): 

It’s just like the rangoli except that here we decorate with flowers. On the first day we put just one flower in the verandah of the house, the next day we have to put two, like wise on 10th day we need to put 10 different types of flowers. A day prior to or on the early morning of Thiruvonam (10th day) all the children in the locality roam around collecting flowers. There is a special song which the children sing during the flower hunt, it is called ‘onapaat’ (the Onam song). We also use colorful leaves of certain plants to give the carpet an extra decoration. On the 10th day (Thiruvonam) we put flowers in our corridor, veranda as well as in the main hall. Now that we don’t have many flowers in our garden we have to get it from market. Children used to visit neighbor’s home comparing whose flower carpet is more beautiful.
Onasadya (Feast):

This the mostinevitable part of Onam, especially for me :D. No matter if we eat cornflakes or cereals the whole year, but during Onam you must eat ‘Sadya’. It’s served on the plantain leaves with 10-20 different varieties of dishes, depending on whom all are helping in our kitchen 😉 But minimum 10 dishes is compulsory, it includes Rice, sambhar, pachadi, avial, thoran, papad, kheer etc Preparations begins a day before. Sorry to non veggies, it’s purely a vegetarian feast. After the sadya, you get 2 or 3 types of “Payasam” (Kheer) which will be yummy. After this rich lunch all will be sleepy 😀

Onakodi (New dress):
Whenever you see a person wearing an off-white color sari with golden border, you know it’s a malayalee. That’s the common dress we wear during festivals. It’s called Kasav sari and young girls wear Kasav paavada (long skirt), which nowadays is rarely seen. Men wears off-white kasav mund (dhoti, not the lungi) . We visit nearby temples wearing our new dress. The eldest member in our family is the one who mostly gifts us our new dress.dress

Other functions:
Different forms of dance and music are performed all over Kerala, each place celebrates Onam with slight differences. Thiruvathirakali, is a form of dancing around the Nelavilak (Traditional long brass lamps) with certain hand gestures and body movements. Pulikali (a form of dance in which people disguise themselves as a tiger and a hunter is celebrated in parts of Thrissur. Boat race is also performed in some backwater areas of Kerala. Special type of boats called Snake Boats (Chundan vellam) are used for these races. This is known as the F1 in water 🙂dressOur Onam wishes to all our readers. Enjoy the feast and celebrate happily.

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