Onam 2020 Date: Onam is the annual harvest festival of Kerala. It is celebrated for 10 days. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated in the months of August-September which falls in the month of Chingam. Malayalis all over the world celebrate the festival. This year, it began on August 22 and will end on August 31.
According to Hindu scriptures, the day marks the annual homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali — the grandson of Prahlada. It is the first four days which are packed with celebrations. The first Onam or Uthraadam, is believed to be Onam eve. This is the day when, many believe, King Mahabali returns to Kerala. On the second day, it is believed that King Mahabali pays a visit to people’s homes on Thiruvonam. Preparations for his departure begin from the third day. The fourth day is observed as Sri Narayana Guru Jayanthi. In the consequent days, post-Onam celebrations continue.
The festival is celebrated with abandon in India, especially in Kerala. As part of this, boat races (vallam kali),women’s dance (thumbi thullal), tiger dances (pulikali), colourful masked dance (kummattikali) are arranged. The festival is characterised by flower arrangements (called pookalam), music and song and dance routines.
The main attraction, however, is the preparation of Onam sadhya or the elaborate feast. It consists of seasonal vegetables, mango and lime pickle, yam chips, tamarind and ginger chutney. It also includes rice with coconut essence, pachadi (a blend of coconut, curd, pineapple and chillies), moru (buttermilk), avial (a dish with potatoes, banana, carrots, beans, drumstick and raw mango), rasam (a tangy watery dish) and pappadam. It is served on a banana leaf.