Onam is a ten day Hindu festival celebrated with a great enthusiasm throughout Kerala, India.
Onam is one of the most ancient Hindu festivals which is still celebrated with a great devotion. Onam marks the homecoming of King Mahabali, a legendary king, who ruled Kerala in ancient times. That period was believed to be the golden age of Kerala, people were happy, free from harm and complete harmony and prosperity was there. This golden age ended when Vamana (an avatar of Lord Vishnu)
pushed King Mahabali, deep into the earth. Satisfied by Mahabali’s honesty and generosity, the lord granted him a wish that he can visit his kingdom and dear subjects once in a year.
Special pujas are offered in the temples in early morning and younger members take blessings from the elder members of the family. During Onam traditional rituals are performed followed by a lavish feast with twenty-one homemade curries and sweet payasam on plantain leaf.
In India, the state government of Kerala conducts Tourism Week celebrations in connection with Onam, showcasing Kerala’s beauty and culture with spectacular carnivals of elephants, fireworks, boat races, music and the famous Kathakalli dance are traditionally associated with this festival.