Onam 2023: Significance of 10 days long Harvest Festival

Onam is a time of feasting, cultural celebrations, and intercommunal camaraderie that unites people from all walks of life. All Malayalis and Keralites enthusiastically participate in this harvest festival.

Hindu mythology describes Mahabali as a generous and prosperous king who was consigned to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu. But Vishnu allowed him to travel to Kerala once a year. Onam marks the homecoming of King Mahabali.

In Kerala, Onam is a particularly important holiday for Hindus. Among religious festivals, this one is eagerly anticipated. This festival, which honors the harvest, is regarded as such and is lavishly and fervently observed. Everyone who is a Malayali or a Keralite celebrates Onam. The Onam festival is observed during the Shukla Paksha month of Shravana on the Chaturdashi Tithi.

In the southern state of Kerala, the festival is celebrated with fervor. Kerala men and women dress in their traditional kasavu clothing, and they celebrate by creating elaborate flower patterns (rangoli) and a substantial sadya (feast). The people of Kerala attach great significance to each of the 10 days of Onam.

This year Onam will be celebrated on August 29, 2023. Thiruvonam Nakshatram Begins at August 29, 2023 – 02:43 AM and Ends at August 30, 2023, 11:50 PM

Hindu mythology portrays King Mahabali as a great ruler of Kerala who was very kind and generous. During his rule, the kingdom was incredibly prosperous and tranquil. The populace of the kingdom was content and adored their king. Demon-hating Deities wished to put an end to Mahabali’s rule from earth. As King Mahabali overcame them to become king, they were envious of him. They sent Lord Vishu to King Mahabali.

Lord Vishnu went to King Mahabali in the avatar of Vamana Avatar to test him and requested three feet of land. He agreed and then Lord Vishnu asked him where he should put his third step after covering all the worlds in two steps. King Mahabali asked Vamana to place the third step on his head, which would send him to the netherworld. However, this pleased Lord Vishnu, who appreciated his devotion and generosity. King Mahabali was granted permission by Lord Vishnu to travel to his home country of Kerala once a year. Due to this, people of Kerela view the Onam festival as marking the day that their beloved king Mahabali returned home.

For Keralans, the Onam festival holds a significant religious significance. This festival is observed with a lot of fanfare. They express their appreciation for the land’s generosity in providing a good harvest. People decorate their homes with lovely rangoli and flowers on this auspicious Onam day. Every woman makes a variety of dishes and desserts. They take part in various cultural pursuits.

The Onam festival is a chance to spend time with all of your friends and family. People from Kerala who reside outside of their city return home to celebrate this festival with their kin. They take part in boat races, music competitions, and dance competitions. The people of Kerala celebrate this festival with utmost fervor and give food and treats to everyone in need. They support charitable causes and donations because they want everyone to enjoy and fully embrace this festival.

For the health, longevity, and happiness of their loved ones, relatives, and friends, they pray to Lord Vamana and their cherished King Mahabali. They also supplicate for a fruitful harvest.