Friday, August 24, 2018

Onam Festival Tomorrow, Know Its Significance

Know muhurat rituals and history of Onam! Celebrate Onam festival and know the significance, rituals and story of this great Hindu festival.

According to Hindu Calendar, the festival of Onam will be celebrated tomorrow, i.e. on 25th August, 2018. It is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated in the memory of the great King, Mahabali, in Kerala. The festival is celebrated in the city of Kochi, Trivandrum, Kottayam and Thrissur with great pomp and show. The carnival lasts for four to ten days, and it is generally the time when, people show a perfect blend of ritual, culture and tradition.

Onam/Thiruvonam Puja Muhurat

Onam/Thiruvonam 2018 Muhurat
Muhurat BeginsFrom 06:48 AM on August 24, 2018
Muhurat EndsTill 09:49 AM on August 25, 2018

Note: This muhurat is applicable for New Delhi only. To know the muhurat timings for your city, read Onam Muhurat

Celebrations of Onam

Onam is one of the biggest festival in Kerala where people of all ages participate with great fervor and excitement. The festival is celebrated in the month of August - September, as per Malayalam Calendar, which is also named as Kollavarsham. This festival is celebrated in Chingam month of Kollavarsham.

The festival of Onam lasts nearly for 10 days and it is celebrated to pay tribute to the great King, Mahabali, who was known for his valour. On account of his good deeds, God blessed him with a boon of visiting his people every year to see the welfare of his kin. On this day, people exchange Onam wishes and make each other feel happy with Onam blessings.
  • During this festival, people put on new clothes on this day, which is known as Onakkodi.
  • People also indulge in a handful of activities and dances performed during the festival of Thiruvonam, which is known as Onakkalikal. Myriad of competitions are also organized on this occasion, such as food-eating competitions, Uriyady, Ox races (Maramadimatsaram), Onam Pookalam competitions, etc.
  • There are many Hindu Keralite who install an image of Thrikkakara Appan or Onatthappan in their homes.
  • During the festival, Hindu temples are decorated with lamps, Diyas and candles. A Palmyra tree is set up in front of temples in Kerala. It is decorated and then, lit with a torch and burned to ashes, signifying the sacrifice of King Mahabali.
  • Onam festival is also related to creativity as potters and weavers go for an extra mile to fulfil the increased demands of the products, especially in regions of North Kerala such as Kannur and Kasargod. Handloom fairs are a great attraction of the spirit of Onam festivities during these days.

History of Onam

According to legends, Kerala was ruled by a very powerful King, Mahabali. It is said that when King Mahabali was the ruler of Kerala, there was nobody in the region who was sad or unhappy. Every single man was happy and full of peace and they respected their King to the utmost valour. King Mahabali was not only loved by his people but respected by people of other region as well. King Mahabali was also known by two other names - Maveli and Onathappan.

King Mahabali ruled over all 3 Lokas - Deva Loka (Heaven), Bhu Loka (Earth), and Patal Loka (Nether World). Even after belonging from a demon clan, his generous nature was something that people loved the most about him. He defeated devtas to win the heaven. So, they requested Lord Vishnu to help them get back their kingdom. In order to help them, Lord Vishnu took Vamana Avatar, the form of a dwarf Brahmin.

As we all know that offering donations to Brahmins is considered auspicious. Therefore, when Vamana visited the King, the Brahmin requested 3 steps of land from him. King agreed to this. Then, Vamana grew bigger in size, and covered heaven with his first foot, earth with his second foot, and as there was no area left so, the King offered his head to him. Brahmin pushed him down to the Patal Loka with his third step.

Lord Vishnu was pleased with his act of generosity and asked him for a wish. The King requested the God if he can meet his people once a year. The wish was granted. Hence, every year on this day of Onam or Thiruvonam, King Mahabali visits his people.

Know More About Indian Festivals, Read: Hindu Festivals 2018 and Muhurat

AstroSage team hopes that you like this article on Onam, and wishes you a very happy and blissful Onam!

No comments: