Onam is the biggest festival for Malayalis and falls in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam. It starts on the day known as Atham and is celebrated over 10 days, known as Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam, meaning “Sacred Onam Day”. The festival is marked as much by the celebrations and rituals as it is by the gold-bordered off-white saris known as settu mundu.
These aren’t any ordinary saris though. They’re made of two sets of cloth which have a specific drape. The lower cloth which forms the pleats of the sari is known as mundu and the upper portion which works as the pallu is called settu. The off-white sari with a bold golden border has a coloured strip at the border known as kara.
While a lot of young women pair the traditional sari with contrasting coloured blouses, nowadays salwar kurta sets are also available with the same fabric and colour.
Check some of the pictures here.
To give this traditional sari a contemporary touch, designers are now experimenting with quirky prints on the borders to attract younger women. These prints include warli painting, peacock features, mirror work, Buddha prints etc.
Check out the pictures here.
You can learn how to wear a settu-mundu here.
How are you planning to spend your day on Onam? Let us know in the comments below.