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Onam Festival Kerala - Fairs and Festivals in India

Onam is one of the most significant harvest festivals of Kerala and is an attraction for thousands of people outside and within the state. All the activities during this season are centered on worshipping, music, dance, sports, boat races and good food. This festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam (ending of August and beginning of September). Onam is a harvest festival and celebrates the reward of nature after a year of hard work. The merry making of the festival includes an elaborate procession of Trichur and amusing boat races on River Pampa. Women dress up in heavy jewelry and new saris and make complx and detailed designs of “rangolis” and “pookkalam”(with flowers) in front of their homes.

Legends Of Onam Festival
According to the legends, Kerala was ruled by the Demon King Mahabali. Mahabali was such a great ruler that his rule was known as the "golden rule of Mahabali". His fame spread far and wide that the Gods feared that he might become too powerful. So they approached Lord Vishnu, to curb Mahabali's power.

Lord Vishnu took the form of Vaamana, the dwarf and approached Mahabali. He asked the good King for three paces of land. King Mahabali was so kind that he looked at the small person and advised him to ask something bigger. But the guru of the demons, Guru Sukracharya, realised this was no ordinary brahmin and told the king to refuse any boons. But King Mahabali refused and granted three paces of land to Vaamana.

At that, the dwarf grew in height till he almost touched the sky. With his first step, he measured the heavens, with his second, the nether world. For his third pace, there was no place and Kign Mahabali offered his head. So he did and Mahabali was pushed into the nether world. But Lord Vishnu was so pleased with this great King that he showed him his viswarupa and gave him a boon. Then the good king Mahabali requested that he should visit his people once a year and see his beloved subjects. Lord Vishnu granted him his boon and on the day "Onam Festival" or "Harvest Festival" of kerala King Mahabali visits the earth is only celebrated as Onam.

Celebrations Of Onam Festival
River Pampa comes alive with decorated floats and water sports on the eve of onam festival in kerala. In Trichur, an elaborate procession of artistically decorated and caparisoned elephants is taken out. A huge crowd gathers to watch the procession. Singing and merry-making mark the Occasions. Women wear new saris and make elaborate rangolis, pookkalam, in front of their homes. The celebrations begin 10 days before Thiruonam. The festivities end in a spectacular display of fireworks.

 

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