Facts About Onam | The Importance And Other Facts About The Onam Festival 2023

Facts About OnamFacts About Onam

Facts About Onam: Onam, the vibrant and culturally rich festival of Kerala, holds a special place in the hearts of its people. This annual harvest festival is a time of joy, unity, and cultural extravaganza. Let’s dive into the captivating world of Onam and uncover some intriguing facts that make this celebration truly unique.

Origins and Significance

The origins of Onam can be traced back to ancient legends, primarily the story of King Mahabali. According to Hindu mythology, Mahabali was a generous and just ruler who gained immense popularity. However, his growing power concerned the gods, leading to the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu. Vamana asked for three paces of land from Mahabali, which he granted. This led to Vamana covering the entire universe in three strides, pushing Mahabali to the netherworld. Onam celebrates King Mahabali’s return to Kerala during this time.

Spectacular Floral Rangoli (Pookkalam)

A hallmark of Onam celebrations is the creation of intricate and colorful floral rangolis, locally known as “Pookkalam.” These rangolis, made using a variety of vibrant flowers, adorn the entrances of homes during the festival. Each day of the ten-day festival witnesses the addition of a new layer to the Pookkalam, making it a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight. Facts About Onam.

Feast of Feasts

Onam is incomplete without its sumptuous feast, also known as the “Onam Sadya.” This grand vegetarian spread includes an array of dishes, served on a banana leaf. From the tangy avial to the sweet pradhaman, the Sadya is a culinary delight that tantalizes taste buds and reflects the richness of Kerala’s gastronomy.

Kaikottikali Dance

Celebrations are marked by the vibrant Kaikottikali dance, also called the “Thiruvathira Kali.” Women, dressed in traditional attire, form circles and dance gracefully to traditional songs. The synchronized movements and joyful spirit make this dance a captivating sight.

Vallam Kali – The Snake Boat Race

Vallam Kali, the Snake Boat Race, is a thrilling water sport that captures the essence of Onam. Colorfully adorned long boats with raised prows resembling snakes compete in a spirited race on Kerala’s serene backwaters. The rhythmic rowing and synchronized chanting create an electrifying atmosphere.

Athachamayam – Grand Procession

The festival kicks off with Athachamayam, a grand procession showcasing Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. This event features various art forms, traditional music, and dance performances. Elephants adorned with colorful decorations play a central role in this procession.

Onathappan – Floral Pyramid

A unique aspect of Onam is the creation of the Onathappan, a pyramid-shaped arrangement of flowers that represents King Mahabali. This floral deity is placed in the center of homes and is worshipped throughout the festival.

Pulikali – Tiger Dance

Pulikali, or the Tiger Dance, adds a dash of playfulness to Onam. Men painted as tigers roam the streets, dancing to the beats of traditional drums. This entertaining folk art form never fails to bring smiles to faces.

Onakkodi – New Attire Tradition

The tradition of wearing new clothes, known as Onakkodi, is an integral part of Onam. People don their finest traditional attire, adding to the festive fervor. It symbolizes a fresh start and prosperity for the coming year.

Cultural Extravaganza

Onam is a cultural extravaganza that celebrates the state’s vibrant heritage. From traditional art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam to vibrant processions and music performances, the festival showcases the rich tapestry of Kerala’s culture.


Facts About Onam: Onam is not just a festival; it’s a celebration of tradition, unity, and the spirit of Kerala. Through its captivating rituals, colorful traditions, and heartwarming gestures, Onam brings people together and reminds us of the importance of culture and community.

FAQs: Facts About Onam

  1. When is Onam celebrated?

    Onam falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam, which usually corresponds to August or September.

  2. What is the significance of the Onam Sadya?

    The Onam Sadya symbolizes unity and diversity, with its diverse range of dishes representing the harmonious blend of different cultures.

  3. How is Onam connected to agriculture?

    Onam celebrates the harvest season, highlighting the close connection between the people of Kerala and their agrarian heritage.

  4. Are there any modern variations to Onam celebrations?

    Yes, modern celebrations might include competitions, games, and cultural events that add a contemporary twist to traditional festivities.