Saturday, February 12, 2011


One of the (or probably the most important) festival in Kerala isOnam. this festival falls in the Malayalam month Chingam, (mid August to mid September) on the star Thiruvonam The festival starts on Athham and culminates on Thiruvonam.The most visible part of Onam is the floral decoration in front of the houses.

The youngsters collect flowers from roadside,open fields (and even steal flowers from neighbours!) half the pleasure lies in that!The floral decoration consists of circles of flowers of different colours andshapes, the overall effect depending on the artistry of the decorator.

On the kitchenfront,the household members start preparations for the major feast on the Thruvonam day,practically a week in advance,the feast or the'onasadya' being a much anticipated event eagerly awaited by young and old alike. Frying of banana chips kickstarts the preparations. Nenthrakka also known as ethakka (the long green variety) will be available in plenty in this season.Also in the menu will be the sharkara upperi (thick slices of banana fried and coated with jaggery syrup). (In my innocence I thought these would be universal favourites, until a friend said, she had to spit out sharkara upperi at a Kerala wedding feast!!!)the feast cosists of kalan,olan,erisseri,avial,pulyinji,pappadam ,payasam,etc

New clothes are bought for the entire family.In Kerala, Onam is celebrated the same way, Diwali is celebrated in Tamil Nadu and the northern states.

The legend behind Onam goes like this.Long time ago a king named Mahabali (or Maveli)ruled Kerala. Mavelli was a very just king.
the legend behind Onam goes like this.
The legend behind onam is that long long ago, in Kerala, there reigned a king called Mahabali or Maveli. He was a very just person and the state thrived and prospered under him. Everybody was happy. Nobody went hungry, and evrybody was treated alike. But gradually, the success of the state went to the king's head and he became a bit swollen headed.

The Gods wanted to teach him a lesson.