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In pictures: Significance of Onam ‘pookalam’ or floral carpet

Onam 2021: Made using fresh while flowers and petals, pookalams are designed at home and around public places in the honour of King Mahabali

pookalam designs, onam 2021, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, onam celebrations, floral patterns onam, pookaalam onam 2021, how to make flower decorationsAs per tradition, it is said that each of the floral ring is dedicated to deities. (Source: Express Photo by Arul Horizon)

Onam celebrations see the making of pookalam or athapookalam, a rangoli made with fresh flowers in various intricate designs. As the Onam festivities draw to a close with Thiruonam, here’s what to know about the importance of pookalam which is also called pookolam.

Pookalams are generally circular in shape.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan looks at the ‘Onam Pookalam’ made by the State Secretariat employees inside the Secretariat premises for the ‘Onam’ festival, in Thiruvananthapuram. (Source: PTI Photo)

‘Poo’ stands for flower and ‘Kolam’ stands for decorative designs or rangoli. Made using fresh flowers and petals, pookalams are designed at home and around public places in the honour of King Mahabali who is believed to return to his people every year.

The legend goes that as per the boon granted by Lord Vishnu’s avatar Vamana, King Mahabali who was sent to the Nether World or Pataal Lok, could only pay a visit to his kingdom and people annually. Therefore, to celebrate his return, people put floral carpets or pookalam.

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onam Kerala women make a Pookkalam (floral art) to celebrate Onam festival, in Bengaluru, (Source: PTI Photo)

What does it have?

While a traditional pookalam consists of 10 flowers, people nowadays are said to use all kinds of flowers which are available in the market to make multiple rings which are dedicated to several deities.

onam A man lays out flowers for sale by a roadside anticipating customers during the Onam festival in Kochi, Kerala state, India,. (Source: AP Photo/R S Iyer)

As per tradition, it is said that each of the floral ring is dedicated to deities namely Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, their sons Ganesha and Kartikeya, Lord Brahma, Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu, and King Mahabali.

Onam An artisan gives a finishing touch to a poster of King Mahabali at a shop for the Onam festival, in Thiruvananthapuram, (Source: PTI Photo)

It is said that the floral patterns have profound meaning.

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The festival of Onam is a harvest festival celebrated in the month of Chingam and lasts for 10 days. The festival comprises numerous fun activities like Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Onathappan (worship), during these 10 days. A festive spread in the form of Onam Sadhya is a must-have part of the celebrations.

How are your celebrations like? 

First published on: 21-08-2021 at 09:10 IST
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