South India Holiday Tours Kerala Tours Thiruvonam Festivals,Onam Festivals in Kerala,Festivals in Thiruvonam
Thiruvonam Festivals|Onam Festivals in Kerala|Festivals in Thiruvonam
Declared as a tourist festival by the Government, Onam or Thiruvonam has been celebrated as the highpoint of the harvesting season. Onam Festivals in Kerala,Thiruvonam Festivals,Onam Festivals in Kerala,Festivals in Thiruvonam,Onam Festival,Onam 2010 Onam comes during August-September or Chingom, the Malayalam month.
For ten days before Thiruvonam, the front yard of homes is decorated with a special carpet-like design of flowers or Athapoovu. Onam Festivals in Kerala,Thiruvonam Festivals,Onam Festivals in Kerala,Festivals in Thiruvonam,Onam Festival,Onam 2010 The clay idol of Thrikkakkara Appan is placed in the middle of the decorated area.
On Thiruvonam, prayers are offered at temples in the morning. Everyone wears new clothes and presents are distributed to family members. A feast of delicious Kerala food is served on banana leaves for the family.
Thiruvonam is also the time for home-coming, community feasting and a host of cultural programmes.Onam Festivals in Kerala,Thiruvonam Festivals,Onam Festivals in Kerala,Festivals in Thiruvonam,Onam Festival,Onam 2010 Sporting encounters are organized for men and women of all ages on that day and the big attraction in the cities are the boat races, which draws thousands of tourists.
Thiruvonam is held to honour King Mahabali, a mythological king of ancient Kerala, whose reign was considered the golden age in the history of the state. The king had all the virtues and his regime was marked by equality and harmony. However, the golden age ended abruptly ended when Vamana, the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu, unseated Mahabali.
Before giving up his throne, Mahabali asked one favour: to visit his people once a year. And the day he comes to Kerala is Thiruvonam, the tenth day in the month of Chingom. Mahabali's visit also coincides with the harvesting season in Kerala.
The tenth and the most important day of Onam celebrations is known as Thiru Onam or the Tiru Onam. Here Thiru or Tiru stands for sacred, holy, beautiful or auspicious and is equivalent of 'Sri' in Hindi. It is so called as the day is the most significant of all, for the people of Kerala. People believe that it is on the tenth day that Lord Mahabali comes to visit his people.
Some scholars say that the name Thiru Onam comes from the name Sravanotsav out of which 'Sra' was taken out and 'vana' was transformed to 'Onam'. To the word Onam, 'Thiru' was added as the asterism Sravana on which Onam is celebrated was sacred to Lord Vishnu.
Elaborate preparations are made to celebrate Thiru Onam in the grandest possible way. Early in the morning people perform special prayers to invoke divine blessings. Women clean up the house and decorate a flower mat in the front courtyard of the house. This is to welcome the spirit of the legendary King who is so much appreciated by his people centuries after his golden reign.
A grand meal called Onasadya is also prepared to impress upon the spirit of the King that his people are happy and wish him well. Thiru Onam evenings are spent playing games and indulging in cultural events. Lightening and dazzling display of fire also takes place with much fan fair.