Onam – Most popular festival of Kerala
Onam reminds me of my childhood days, when we learnt about the various festivals of India. The festival of Onam always grabbed my attention, probably the colors, the huge mythical figure of King Mahabali, the big snake boat races with so many oarsmen rowing to make it at the finishing end. So fascinating.
I literally could imagine and visualize the festive fervor along with the traditional costumes coming live through my school books. Always wanted to be part of the festivity and learn more about it. Well my wish came true in some aspects, down here in Kuwait. All thanks to my colleagues and friends who with all pride and pomp celebrate Onam festival at work.
Onam, the harvest festival celebrated by the Hindu families in Kerala is a 10 day long festival. Celebrating the annual homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. Whose spirit is said to visit Kerala on this day, to see his people living happily. With the beautiful floral carpet (floral rangoli) at the entrance of every house, which is known as Pookolam. And for all the foodies, just like me 🙂 here comes the main highlight of the festival ‘Onam Sadhya‘. A grand feast which is traditionally served on a Banana leaf which consists of about 26 dishes and can go upto 30 plus. Sadhya in malayam means banquet, and true its a huge banquet of delicious dishes, curries and the yummy desserts, varieties of Payasam my fav 😉
Relished the Onam Sadhya, starting with the Kerala red rice with ghee sprinkled and the special dishes which follow. There is a style and sequence to all of it, an art you could say and something one should not miss on. And yeah not forgetting the traditional attire, mundu by the men and set saree by the women. Got myself draped in the set saree too, getting into the exact feel of the festival.
The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during Onam. Will make it possible someday, celebrating Onam and catching the glimpse of the snake boat race in Gods own Country – Kerala.