Short essay on Onam festival of Kerala
Onam is one of the most significant harvest festivals of Kerala and is an attraction for thousands of people outside and within the State. All the activities during this season are centered on worship, music, dance, sports, boat races and good food. This festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam (ending of August and beginning of September). Onam is a harvest festival and celebrates the reward of nature after a year of hard work. The merry-making of the festival includes an elaborate procession of Trichur and amusing boat races on River Pampa. Women dress up in heavy jewellery, new saris and make complex and detailed designs of "rangolis" and "pookkalam"(with flowers) in front of their homes. Onam is celebrated in the memory of King Mahabali. It was said that King Mahabali ruled Kerala a long time ago and looked after the welfare of the people. Thus Onam shows the blissful rule of the King and the freedom, which the people enjoyed under his rule. The people also believe that during Onam, the King returns to Kerala to pay a visit to his people. The people in Kerala arrange for this festival by cleaning up their houses and decorating them. On the occasion of Onam, everybody in the family wears new clothes. Delicious sweets and dishes are prepared and served on the banana leaves. 'Pookalam' a flower mat is visible outside every house. This mat is a symbol of welcoming King Mahabali. 'Payasam', a sweet and tempting porridge is one of the favourite desserts served on the eve of Onam. Not only Hindus but Christians and Muslims also celebrate Onam. It is one such festival that unites all the people regardless of race and religion. The colourful festival of Onam is an attraction for thousands of people within Kerala and outside the State. The State Government itself has taken the initiative to celebrate Onam season as tourist festival with the motive of attracting tourists. Various cultural forms, old and new, are...
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