This year, the festival of Onam will be celebrated on September 8, 2022, which falls on Thursday. Another name for this festival is ‘Thiruvonam’. It is the most celebrated festival in Kerala that celebrates the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali along with the celebration of the Vaman avatar of Lord Vishnu. Onam is a 10-day festival that is celebrated with great pomp and joy.
It is on September 7 when the first Onam will be celebrated whereas Thiruvonam will be celebrated on September 8. Third and fourth Onam will be celebrated on September 9 and September 10 respectively. The 10 days of Onam have their own significance. In Kerala, Onam is celebrated as the harvest festival of rice.
In the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam, it is on the day of Thiruvonam Nakshatram (Shravana Asterism) when the festival is celebrated. The festival begins from Athan Nakshatram and ends on Thiruvonam Nakshatram. With respect to the English calendar, the festival of Onam falls at the end of August or the beginning of September.
In Kerala, the symbol of this festival is the floral designs, which are also known as ‘Pookkalam’. New clothes are worn on this occasion, which is known as ‘Onakkodi’ and they are also gifted. The women of the house create beautiful patterns of floral designs to welcome King Mahabali.
On this occasion, ‘Onam Sadya’ is prepared, which is a big and grand feast. 13 different dishes are prepared on this day and are served on banana leaves. ‘Payasam’ is a sweet dish that is a must-have during this festival. ‘Payasam’ is cooked with rich ingredients like rice, coconut, milk, and sugar.
In homes, people install idols of Thrikkakara appan (Onathappan) or Vaman Vishnu so as to worship them. Traditional Kathakali dance, music, art, and cuisine are the significant features of this festival.
Onam festival dates from 2022 – 2029