Onam is a big festival down South and especially celebrated in Kerala. As bigger as Diwali or Dassera, this state festival of Kerala comes with holidays for 4 days starting from Onam Eve (Uthradom) to the 3rd Onam Day. Falling during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the commemoration of Vamana avatara of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali whom Malayalees consider as their King, Onam is reminiscent of Kerala's agrarian past, as it is considered to be a harvest festival.
Celebrated with much fan fare and many cultural elements such as Vallam Kali, Pulikkali, Pookkalam, Onathappan, Thumbi Thullal, Onavillu, Kazhchakkula, Onathappan, Atthachamayam etc. the Onam festivity kicks off on Atham day, 10 days before Thiruvonam. Each day has its own symbolism and essence with respective to traditions and rituals. Decorated ‘Onapookkalam’ - earthen mounds are installed in the courtyards of the houses. And the first day of celebrations starts with Atham.
The festivities are marked with a range of novel activities, music, worshipping fascinating decorations, preparation of traditional feast as well as wearing of new clothes. While the Onam festival mesmerizes tourists with its vividness and animated celebration in God's Own country, Kerala where tourists from all corners of the world throng to celebrate and experience the joyous festival, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore celebrated Onam in its college premises yesterday.
Not only the students decorated fascinating Pookalams, a fancy and colourful floral pattern laid on the floor as a part of the ritual, but also took part in ethnic dress competitions to keep the spirit alive. Clad in traditional dress many of the students provided a rare insight into the rich culture of the South. As part of the celebrations, female students mostly in traditional Malyali Golden border saree involved in a mesmerizing dance which were hailed by the management and students alike. The students on their own also took time to send out Onam wishes and spread the essence of the festival to dear ones.
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