It is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the Country by all communities. It is celebrated in the beginning of September.
It is a celebration of 10 days.
The Legend of ONAM is,
It is celebrated to welcome the King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit India at the time on ONAM. The story goes that, the beautiful state of Kerala was once ruled by a Demon King , Mahabali.
The king was greatly respected in his kingdom and was considered to be wise, judicious and extreamly generous. It is said that Kerala witnessed its golden era in the reign of King Mahabali. Everybody was happy in his kingdom and there was no discrimination on the basis of caste or class. Rich and poor were equally treated. There was neither crime nor corruption. People did not even lock their doors, as there were no thieves in the kingdom, there was no poverty sorrow during his reign and everybody was Happy. Looking at his fame and growing popularity, Gods became jealousy on him, and send him to an unknown world(nether world), Since Mahabali is so attached to the people of India, before send him to the nether world, the God gave him a boon to visit India once in a Year. During his visit India celebrate as ONAM. During the 10 days festival, The government declared as a Public holidays for School and colleges. During the festival; all the families gather together and celebrate. There are various sports loke Snake Boat rice, Elephant race, tug of war etc are celebrated. People bun w dresses, and it is festival of unity and happiness.