Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Onam



Onam is the biggest and the most important festival in South India ( Kerala) 
It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

Kaikottikali is an elegant clap dance performed on the occasion of Onam. In this women sing songs praising the legendary King Mahabali and dance around the pookalam. At the centre of this is placed a lit bronze lamp called nilavilakku.
 It is a captivating sight to watch troupe of female dancers performing in their traditional Kerala attire consisting of gold bordered off-white mundu-neriyathu and decked with a fragrant gajra in their hair.
What I like best about Onam is the Sadhya (food) The afternoon meal consists of about 13+ curries, that includes things like, sambhar, erichery, pulichery, pachaddi, injicurry, kalan, olan, papaddam, (and many more that I can’t recollect now) This is followed by two types of Payasam (sweet dish)

This is one day when all Keralites buy only vegetables (no non veg)
(Incidentally this is one of the regulars I see at the marketplace, and I have named him "lord of the Rings")

And the food is served on banana leaf (following the old Indian tradition of sitting on the floor)

25 comments:

Anita said...

When I read stories like this one, I realize how little I know about the customs around the world.

Thank you for sharing this one. The next time I see my friend and neighbor who is from India, I will impress her with my knowledge of Onam. :)

nutschell said...

i love the pictures and I love learning about new customs.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com
Happy A-Zing!

Daisy said...

I enjoyed this post, Joe. I love your colorful photos.

Rebecca S. said...

How lovely and colourful! I like to read about Hindi and general Indian customs in some of my favourite books by British author Rumer Godden who grew up in India and raised her own daughters in Kashmir. The food looks good, too!
Thank you for visiting my blog today, too. Is your Haddock blog name from Captain Haddock of Tintin?

Jeannette said...

Happy Harvest... Outrageous Onam to you...

carinamodella said...

We are eating with our bare hands and using banana leaves too as our plates.

anilkurup said...

Nostalgic!

shivani said...

Gr8...i am going down memory lane once again. Staying in Chennai and having frnds from Kerala i have relished all this.
Sry to voice this but i think something seems to be missing here.
It's the wonderful songs. Wanted to share my fav Cheti Mandaram Thulasi with you. i know u'll love to listen and hum along for it's serenity apart from it's wonderful lyrics.
U can always get a translation along with the lyrics on the net.
And anyways music is enchanting and universal whether u know/understand the lyrics or not.
http://youtu.be/Ch25qcAdlCA
Thanks for sharing.Superb pics :)

Sharkbytes said...

Beautiful pictures. Never heard of the festival before. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at myqualityday.blogspot.com

Petra said...

Beautiful people and colorful photos. I like to travel, even if it is only virtual. :-)

harman singh said...

nice pictures..love the tradition.. love the simplicity..proud to be an indian!

P.N. Subramanian said...

Nice presentation. But how come that you thought of Onam at this time instead of Vishu?

Amanda said...

Love your blog! And thanks for the pic - I've always wanted to see how a banana leaf looks like!

Amanda

Haddock said...

Actually I wanted to write something with O :-)

Haddock said...

Good to know you enjoyed it Amanda

Haddock said...

Two cheers on that Harman.

Haddock said...

Who knows, one day it may be a reality Petra.

Haddock said...

Yes the songs ....
The song Cheti Mandaram Thulasi was there in one of the malayalam movies too.

Haddock said...

Wash the hands and throw away the leaf :-)

Haddock said...

Oh yes Rebecca, you are right, Haddock is from Tintin, and I have written a blog on the movie too. Here it is:
http://joezachs.blogspot.in/2011/11/tintin-and-spielberg.html

Haddock said...

Good that you enjoyed it Daisy.

Haddock said...

Glad you liked it :-)

Haddock said...

That is one up your sleeve Anita.

Harisankar said...

Joe..Are you a Malayali?.. ..
BTW... It is not strictly true that Malayalis forgo their innate desire to eat NOn-Veg everyday even on Onam Day..Though grandma convinces us to eat only the Sadya at Noon in the very tradtional style that u mentioned, we wash it down in our very own style with Beef Fry and Chappathi last year for supper..:)

sajith said...

Onam is Not only the Biggest Festival of Kerala, But it is symbolic to show that the ultimate sacrifice to God (Maha Bali) will bring you Moksham, fame and Will make you Imanual. Mahabali By offering his own head to Lord Vishnu had the blessing of the touch with Holy Foot of lord Vishnu thus by relieving him from his fate and Sins. When you consider that people are worshiping rocks which they believe Lord Rama Foot print is there, You will understand what a Blessing He has GOt from Lord Vishnu.

Regards
Prasad From
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