Ona is a well-known harvest festival majorly observed by people of Kerala. The first Onam 2023 is going to be observed on August 28, 2023, while Thiruvonam 2023 will be celebrated on August 29, 2023.
Onam is a major festival of Hindus celebrated with zeal and excitement in the state of Kerala. It is a 10-day long harvest festival in which the most important day is Thiruvonam observed on the last day of the festival. The festival of Onam is related to King Mahabali and it is said that his spirit visit the land of Kerala at the time of Onam. Not just in Kerala, but the Onam festival is also celebrated by the Malayali diaspora all around the world. This article presents important details related to Onam 2023 like date, story, celebration, history, etc.
Onam 2023 Overview
|Onam 2023 Date||29th August 2023|
|Type of festival||Harvest festival|
|State when it is observed?||Kerala|
|Date||First Onam 2023 to be observed on 28th August 2023|
Onam 2023 Date
Onam date is calculated as per the Malayalam calendar and falls in the month of Chingam, which is the first month. In Gregorian calendar, this usually falls in the month of August or September. In the year 2023, Onam or Thiruvonam will be observed on August 29. Nakshathra for Thiruvonam will begin at 02:43 PM on August 29, 2023 and end at 11:50 PM on August 29, 2023 .
Onam is the official festival of Kerala state and is observed as a public holiday. On this occasion, most offices, banks, schools are other institutions remain close. Many institutions also observe a holiday on the day of first Onam or Uthradom or Onam Eve.
Story behind Onam Festival
It is believed that on the last day of Onam, King Mahabali visits Kerala. There is also a story behind this festival related to King Mahabali that goes as follows.
Mahabali, also known as Bali, was the grandson of Prahlada (a firm devotee of Vishnu) was a great king who was also kind and generous to his people. He garnered a lot of fame and power by defeating the Devas of Swarga (heaven) and established his rule on both heaven and earth. After facing defeat by the hands of Mahabali, the Devas visited Lord Vishnu and asked for His help in fight against Mahabali. Lord Vishnu refused to kill him as he was a benevolent ruler and His devotee and instead followed a tactic to get heaven back from him.
After he became the ruler of all three worlds, Mahabali announced that he was going to perform a Yajna and anyone is free to ask anything in gift- gold, food, treasures, villages. Lord Vishnu incarnated Himself as a dwarf monk Vamana (the fifth incarnation of Vishnu) and appeared for the Yajna. When asked by the king for the gift, Vamana asked that He wanted only three steps of land. Mahabali agreed to this and asked Vamana to cover three steps from his feet. Vamana then grew to an enormous size and covered every piece of available land in two steps. For the third step, Vamana asked where should He place his feet and without any hesitation Mahabali offered Him his head. Moved by Mahabali’s devotion, Vishnu got pleased and granted him a boon that he can visit his land once every year. As per the legends, it is the day of Onam, on which King Mahabali comes to visit his land.
Onam 2023 Celebrations
Onam is one of three major festivals celebrated in Kerala along with Vishu and Thiruvathira. The festival of Onam mark the beginning of Malayalam New Year and is observed for a total of ten days. The ten days are known as Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam and Thiruvonam.
Last day of this festival, Thiruvonam, is of special significance and the main day of Onam. People celebrate this day by visiting the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Beautiful parades, boat races, cultural programs and much more are carried out on the day of Onam. Apart from this, there are many famous rituals associated with this festival which we will learn about in the next section.
Famous Rituals of Onam
The Onam festival is associated with many unique rituals such as tiger dances, boat races, elephant march, etc. A special feast called as Onam Sadya is also prepared on this occasion. Let us know a little bit about the famous rituals of Onam
- Athachamayam- Atthachamayam or Thripunithura Athachamayam is a famous parade carried out on the occasion of Onam. Main attraction of this procession include elephants marching, drum beats, folk art forms, and people dressed in colrful clothes and masks.
- Pookkalam- Pookkalam or floral Rangoli is made at the entrance of home or temple from beautiful flowers on the day of Onam. Generally the women of the house are entitled with designing of pookkalam.
- Pulikali: Pulikali is a dance in tiger costumes. Pulikali, also known as Kaduvakali, is another famous tradition related to Onam in which people dress up as tiger and perform dance in the streets.
- Vallamkali: Vallamkali is the snake boat race, an event organized on the Pampa river in which many oarsmen row huge boats shaped in the form of snake. People in large number gather from all over the state to watch the boat race.
- Onam Sadya: Onam sadya is a special feast prepared on the occasion of Thiruvonam that consists of nine courses, but may include up to two dozen dishes, including Sambhar, Dal, Coconut Chutney, Pappadam, Injipuli, Thoran, Kaalan, etc.
Answer: Onam 2023 falls on 29th of August.
Answer: Onam is celebrated just to mark the 1st month of Malayalam calendar .