Onam 2022: Onam is one of the biggest celebrations and festivals in Kerala. Malayalis across the country and the globe celebrate the festival with lot of grandeur and good food. The festival is an amalgamation of celebrations that spans 10 days and this year, it kickstarted on August 30 and will culminate with Thiruvonam on September 8. The festival celebrates the legendary King Mahabali’s return home and there are tales and legends associated with the festival.
Onam 2022: History and significance
According to Hindu mythology, King Mahabali was a demon king but his love and generosity made people of Kerala love him. According to ancient texts, it is believed that the people of Kerala had the best time under his reign, were prosperous, and were dominated everywhere throughout his reign. Mahabali is believed to have defeated even the Gods and taken charge of the three worlds. Unhappy and threated, the Gods urged Lord Vishnu to help them in their fight against the demon king. Mahabali was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, who found it tough to take sides. However, he appeared in Mahabali’s court in the avatar of Vamana and tricked him to return the land. But Vishnu granted him a wish that once every year, he will be allowed to return to his kingdom and his people. This is when Onam is celebrated.
Onam 2022: 10 days of celebration
Atham: The day before Mahabali returns to his kingdom is marked by Atham.
Chithira: People start cleaning their houses and a second layer is added on the Pookalam – special rangoli – design.
Chodhi: People buy nice clothes and give jewels to their loved ones on this day.
Vishakam: On the fourth day, Malayalis start preparing for Onasadya or Onam sadhya by stocking their homes with the season’s first-ever crop. It is one of the most important days of Onam.
Anizham: The renowned snake boat race competition Vallamkali is held to commemorate the fifth day of Onam.
Thriketa: Families travel to their ancestral homes and temples on Thriketa to seek blessings
Moolam: Onasadya is offered in all of Kochi’s temples on this day.
Pooradam: The Pookalam grows larger on the seventh day as more flowers are added each day.
Uthradam: All devotees in Kerala make large-scale arrangements to honour Mahabali’s arrival, which is also known as the First Onam.
Thiruvonam: On the final day of the celebration, known as Thiruvonam, people paint rice flour batter on their entrances to welcome King Mahabali. Families prepare and enjoy Onasadya, the lavish Onam feast. Thiruvonam is on Seember 8, 2022.
Onam 2022: Thiruvonam timings
Thiruvonam Nakshatra begins at 4:00 pm on September 7 and will end at 01:46 pm on September 8, as per Muhurta Panchang.
Also read: Onam 2022: Date, history, significance, and other details about the festival