Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Onam celebration - Story of Onam

If all the people of Kerala, India’s southernmost State, were to vote for the most popular and important festival of the State, they would choose Onam unanimously. Coming almost at the end of the monsoons, around August, September, the festival celebrates the mythical return of the good King Mahabali to his subjects each year.

Mahabali, according to legend, was relegated to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu, because Bali, though a benign King was also a powerful demon. The annual return of Bali is celebrated with style-richly caparisoned elephants are marched inprocessions, boat races are held in the backwaters of the coast and homes are decorated with artistic torans made of young coconut leaves. Ten days before the festival, floral patterns and pyramids of fragrant flowers are made outside every house. The people wear new clothes and Onam becomes a veritable food festival of the State. The festivities open in the morning with flowers, new clothes and a breakfast with bananas and fried papadams.

But the high point of the festival is the family or community lunch served on green, shining clean banana leaves arranged in a row. The feast is traditionally vegetarian and includes banana wafers, crisp papadams, pickles of several varieties and puliyinji or ginger chutney. The vegetables are also the same year after year and are associated with Onam.

1 comment:

Muthu said...

so beautifoollll