Thursday, 21 June 2012

Here Comes My Dearest Ponnonam…..Onam Festival


The ideal way of celebrating the king’s visit to his kingdom, what more could I say about my very own Onam? I am completely in love with this festival and have very fond memories of it.
Onam SadhyaThe Onam Sadhya, the traditional Kerala Thali that is served on plantain leaves, is my favorite. It is an ensemble of a variety of tasty dishes with different flavors. There is the Payasam or the Kheer, which is a sweet dish made of milk, rice and semia or jaggery and rice. Then there is the ‘Puli inchi’ which makes me say ‘ hmm….’, the spicy pickles , the Aviyal which is a combination of all veggies, Kootukari which is a tender delight to the aesthetic sense of all food lovers, the Kalan and the Morukari which is great to watch and devour, the Sambhar and the Rasams, the upperis or the sabjis and ….. I could go on and on but unless you taste it, you will never get to know what I am talking about.
Flower Carpet - OnamPardon me; Onam is not just about the food. There is the flower carpet that takes a lot of creativity and patience to be created. I had great fun going out to collect flowers with my friends. The Thumba flowers and the Chekkis were in great demand during Onam. One had to get up early to be the privileged one to get hands on those. Once the flowers are collected and cleaned, a pattern is made on the floor with chalk and then the flowers are laid down accordingly. The famous patterns are obviously that of Kathakali, boat races or just simple designs in round. During Onam, most of the schools and communities conduct flower carpet competitions.
PulikaliThen there is the Pulikali, where men dress up like tigers and dance. The Thiruvathira, which is the beautifully synchronized dance of Malayali women clad in their desi wear which is called the Mundumveshti is absolutely state of the art dance form.
MahabaliOnam is celebrated in memory of the king, Mahabali who once ruled the region. He was sent to Pathalam by Vamana. Mahabali was a great king who was very much concerned about his subjects and helped them a lot. When Vamana asked him for 3 feet of land, the generous king readily agreed. With his first step, Vamana who was originally Lord Vishnu measured the entire earth. With the second step he measured the entire heaven and then when he asked Bali where to keep his third step, the king bowed to the Lord and presented his head. Thus Vamana sent Bali to Pathalam but granted him the wish to visit his people once in a year.
Onam is celebrated as the day when the dear king, Mahabali visits his subjects. This year Thiru Onam falls on September 9.
The land is filled with celebrations and festivities that will enchant you. It will definitely be a great miss if you don’t get to be part of this beautiful celebration. For your comfortable stay and other information contact us or visit The Other Home.

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