This Onam, witness Kerala in all its glory!
It is the time when, after the monsoon, nature looks radiant in her fresh green garb. It is also the season of plenty when the fields are harvested, the cellars are full and even the air takes on a festive feel with a gentle, soothing breeze laden with the sweet smell of flowers. Onam is not just the biggest festival of Kerala, but also the most colourful and the most extravagant. It is the festival of homecomings, a tribute to peace and harmony and a celebration of the true spirit of God’s Own Country.
Onam commemorates the annual return of King Mahabali, who is believed to visit his land for one day each year. A key highlight of the Onam celebrations is the Athapookalam or floral carpets that adorn the front yard of homes to give King Mahabali a glorious welcome.
Onasadya, the traditional feast, is another important part of the Onam celebrations. Served on a plantain leaf, the Sadya is a sumptuous spread of vegetarian delights and rice, along with payasams – a sweet porridge garnished with dried fruits and nuts. Today, almost all the resorts and hotels offer tourists a rich and delicious sampling of the Onasadya.
Starting August 15, 2018, the not-to-be-missed Onam festivity is the Thripunithura Athachamayam – a splendid procession that marks the beginning of the Onam festivities. The highlights of the event are folk dance performances, dance recitals by renowned artists, musical ensembles and caparisoned elephants.
The most fascinating and vibrant of the Onam celebrations is the Vallamkali or Snake boat races. Witness the spectacular Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the backwaters of Alappuzha to be held on August 11, 2018, where scores of snake boats, manned by 100–125 oarsmen, participate in this event, which is also regarded as the largest team sport in the world.
From 24–30th August 2018, enjoy a wide range of programmes conducted by Kerala Tourism at Thiruvananthapuram during Tourism Week Celebrations, which includes food and art festivals being held during the week that concludes with a grand procession.
On August 28, 2018, take part in the Pulikali, a 200-year-old folk art performed by trained artists, in the Swaraj Grounds, Thrissur, and get ready to witness the wild side of Onam, where the dancers, painted from head to toe to resemble feisty tigers, indulge in a cat-and-mouse session with gun-wielding hunters, in rhythmic steps, to the music of ethnic drums such as thakil and udukku.