Friday, May 24

Happy Onam 2023: Kerala’s 10-Day Festival Spreads the Message of Unity Against Communalism

Happy Onam 2023: Kerala’s 10-Day Festival Spreads the Message of Unity Against Communalism


The vibrant spirit of ‘Ponnonam 2023’ illuminated Kannur as the town came alive with a plethora of captivating performances. The essence of Onam reverberated through the air as the cultural festival commenced in Thiruvananthapuram, graced by its grand inauguration. Onam, a celebration steeped in the values of inclusivity and togetherness, carries with it the tale of King Mahabali’s joyous return to the embrace of Kerala, adding a profound cultural and historical dimension to the festivities.

 

Happy Onam 2023: Kerala's 10-Day Festival
Happy Onam 2023: Kerala’s 10-Day Festival

 

Wishing you a joyful Onam 2023! The esteemed Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, bestowed his presence on Sunday to inaugurate the State Tourism’s Onam cultural festival at the illustrious Nishagandhi Auditorium, nestled in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram district. With great enthusiasm, the 10-day-long extravaganza embarked on its journey on August 20, promising a multitude of experiences to cherish, and will gracefully draw to a close on August 31 this year.

Onam stands as a unique festival that pays homage to and champions the virtues of inclusivity and unity. Reflecting this sentiment, the central theme of this year’s event revolves around “Onam, the symphony of harmony,” as eloquently expressed by Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas.

According to a report by the news agency ANI, the ‘Ponnonam 2023’ Onam celebrations in Kerala’s Kannur received an auspicious inauguration by A.N. Shamseer, the esteemed Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly. The district town square came alive with the spirit of the occasion as the festivities commenced under his esteemed presence.

Organized by the Kannur District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), ‘Ponnonam 2023’ unfolded its vibrant festivities on a Sunday in the picturesque Kannur district. The event showcased an array of captivating performances that captured the essence of the occasion, including a spirited flash mob, mesmerizing aksharslokam recitations, soulful renditions of folk songs, captivating group dances, the grandeur of mega thiruvathira, and the grace of mohiniyattam, all contributing to the rich tapestry of the celebration.

With his illuminating speech, the Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly brought an inspiring glow to the evening in Kannur. He eloquently underscored the significance of festivals like Onam, highlighting their potential to act as a unifying force against the divisive currents of communalism. His words resonated with the essence of the occasion, emphasizing the importance of harmony and togetherness in the fabric of Kerala’s cultural celebrations.

Spanning a joyful duration of 10 days, the exuberant Onam festivities, alternately referred to as Thiru-Onam or Thiruvonam, unfold across the picturesque landscape of Kerala. During this spirited occasion, people come together with great enthusiasm to pay homage to the legendary King Mahabali’s heartwarming homecoming. Woven intricately into the fabric of these celebrations are a myriad of captivating stories and myths that add depth and color to the tapestry of this cherished cultural extravaganza.

The sequence commences with Atham, paving the way for Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, and Uthradam, leading up to the culmination on the highly significant 10th day, known as Thiruvonam. This final day holds immense importance, as it marks the grand finale of the Onam celebrations. The spotlight shines brightly on Thiruvonam, often considered the most auspicious day of all, signifying the pinnacle of the festivities. Families embrace the occasion with great fervor, coming together to prepare and relish the lavish Onasadya, the sumptuous Onam feast that embodies the spirit of abundance and togetherness.

Onam unfolds during the Chingam month, signaling the commencement of the Malayalam calendar and marking the initiation of the Malayalam year known as Kolla Varsham. This festive occasion, rooted in the harvest season, heralds the joyous return of the revered demon King Mahabali, also known as Maveli, to his cherished realm of Kerala.

According to legend, King Mahabali achieved victory over the divine realms and assumed dominion over all three worlds. Renowned for his wisdom and benevolence, his popularity among his subjects grew, causing the Gods to harbor feelings of insecurity. In their bid to alleviate their concerns, the Gods appealed to Lord Vishnu for assistance. Consequently, Lord Vishnu adopted his fifth incarnation as the Brahmin dwarf Vamana.

To honor the return of Mahabali, people participate in the tradition of crafting intricate floral carpets, known as Pookkalam, embellishing the entrances of their homes and establishments. The celebratory fervor extends to diverse settings, including schools, universities, offices, and various other locations, each resonating with its unique festivities.


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