India is a land of vibrant festivals and each of them is celebrated wonderfully and in a grand way. With so many interesting stories behind these festivals and the rituals that take place, attending the festivals is one of a kind experience. Every year a plethora of tourists visit India to be a part of these celebrations. Onam is one such festival that lures tourists and makes them fall in love with the intriguing culture and unique rituals of India. This year Onam celebrations amidst COVID-19 will be quite different and low-key. Staying with your family and celebrating Onam with love and homemade sweets is the new trend in 2020! After all, festivals are all about family bonding and some scrumptious desserts! Brush up your knowledge about this iconic festival, with these amusing details that will take you back to the legend of Onam!
The Legend Behind Onam Festival
Onam, the harvest festival is celebrated during a period of 10 days and it is dedicated to King Mahabali. According to the legend, Onam is a celebration of the homecoming of Asura King Mahabali. The Vaishnava mythology states that King Mahabali defeated all Gods and ruled over the three worlds. King Mahabali was a kind-hearted person and was loved by the people. This made the Gods insecure and Lord Vishnu decided to defeat King Mahabali.
Lord Vishnu visited King Mahabali in the form of the Brahmin dwarf Vamana and asked for three pieces of land. King Mahabali fulfilled his wish and offered his head as the third piece of land. Impressed by this act, Lord Vishnu granted Mahabali the right to visit his kingdom every year. The homecoming of the king is celebrated during the 10-day celebrations of Onam.
Rituals Of The Harvest Festival
- The first and the last day of Onam is the most important and many rituals take place on them. The first day is called the Atham festival and the 10th day is the Thiruonam festival. On the first-day people decorate their houses with yellow flowers known as the Pookalam and make rangoli with them.
- During the festival, many dance performances take place like Kummattikali, Thiruvathirakali, Thumbi Thullal, Pulikali, and Kathakali. Events like Vallam Kali and Pulikkali are also held and the locals and tourists attend these events and performances.
- On the last day, a grand 9-course meal is prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables. People visit their relatives and exchange gifts.
- Onam Festival Dates: 22nd August – 31st August 2020
Onam Celebrations Amidst COVID-19
The Ernakulam district administration banned public celebrations this year and released a set of guidelines for all people and shopkeepers. To avoid the spread of coronavirus, tourists won’t be allowed and locals should celebrate at home. To be a responsible citizen, you must follow these guidelines and make the most of the festival at your home with your loved ones.
2020 brought drastic changes in the normal lives of people. Celebrating the major festivals in a low-key manner is one of them. But the bright side is that finally families are spending time with each other and festivals are no more about splurging but enjoying the little moments with near and dear ones. Make your Onam celebrations amidst COVID-19 special by preparing sweets and Pookalam rangoli at home with your children and do click some pictures. Share your Onam celebration stories and pictures in the comment section below! Happy Onam! Stay Safe!
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