Onam is Malayali festival celebrated in the month of Chingam. Chingam is the first month of Malayalam solar calendar and Onam is a 10-day long festival.
It is one of the biggest festival of Malayalis and multiple rituals are observed to mark this day. Several cultural events such as snake boat races and pulikali tiger play take place during the festival.
Onam 2021: Date and Time
This year, Onam started from 12 August 2021. The festival will be celebrated on the day of Thiruvonam which marks the end of Onam celebration, on Saturday, 21 August.
Thiruvonam Nakshathram begins at 9:25 PM on 20 August 2021
Thiruvonam Nakshathram ends at 8:22 PM on 21 August 2021
It is belived that Onam is celebrated to welcome and honour the spirit of Asura (demon) King Mahabali. Despite being a demon king, Mahabali is revered widely in Kerala for his generosity and fair rule. This is why Keralites celebrate his return on Thiruvonam.
People decorate their homes, make flower rangolis also known as Pookalam and prepare a grand feast to welcome the King. The arrival of the King is marked with celebrations that involve dance, games and songs, known as Onakkalikal.
People celebrate the festival by taking early baths and offer their prayers. Malayalis also feast on an elaborate 9-course vegetarian spread known as the Onasadya. It consists of famous dishes such as sambhar, rice, avial, thoran and payasam among others.