Onam is the most revered and celebrated festival of Kerala. It is symbolic of King Mahabali’s annual home-coming as well as celebrates the Vaman avatar of Lord Vishnu. This ten day long festival brings in the best of festive spirit among the people of Kerala and is celebrated with much splendor.
Onam 2023 is on August 29, Tuesday
9 months to go for the event
First Onam is on August 28, Monday, Thiruvonam 2023 will be celebrated on August 29, Tuesday. Third and Fourth Onam falls on August 30, Wednesday and August 31, Thursday respectively.
Women decorating Onam Pookkalam with flowers, on the eve of Onam Festival
When is Onam celebrated?
Onam is celebrated on the day of Thiruvonam nakshatram (Shravana asterism) in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam
If one follow old traditions and honour the adage 'Atham 10 Onam', Onam starts from Atham (Hasta) nakshatram, the first day of onam and ends on Thiruvonam (Shravana) nakshatram - the most important day of Onam festivities, thus making it a 10 day celebration.
On the English calendar, Onam usually falls in late August or early September.
Elephants during a Onam procession at Thrikkakara Temple in Kochi, Kerala
Spiritual significance of Onam
According to mythology, King Mahabali was the greatest king of Kerala and it was during his reign that the local people saw the best of times; prosperity and grandeur ruled everywhere. To end Mahabali’s rule on earth, Lord Vishnu emerged as a Vaman (short Brahmin) and tricked the King to give him whatever land he had. Thereby, King Mahabali was sent to a lower world; but Vishnu also granted him a boon that he could visit his land once every year. Onam celebrates this home-coming of the King.
Rituals of Onam
Onam is the rice harvest festival of Kerala. All the ten days of celebration of Onam has its own significance.
The characteristic floral designs known as ‘pookkalam’ are symbolic of this festival. Usually women members of the house make different types of patterns on the ground with flowers and lit lamps to invite King Mahabali to their house. People gift and wear new clothes known as 'Onakkodi'.
Grand feasts are prepared on this occasion. This is known as 'onam sadya’. Usually around 13 dishes are prepared for this. The food is served on banana leaves and commonly consists of rice along with different dishes, pickles and papads. A characteristic sweet dish called ‘payasam’ is a must during Onam. It is made of rice, milk, sugar and coconut.
Snake boats during boat race in the backwaters of Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala
Vallamkali or boat race, especially of Snake boats, is an event associated with Onam and is a grand event in Kerala these days. Huge snake shaped boats rowed by hundreds of oarsmen compete with each other. Huge amounts of cash rewards are distributed as prizes for the winners.
Elephants decorated with ornaments are characteristic of Onam processions.
Thrikkakara appan (Onathappan) or Vaman Vishnu idols are installed at homes for worship.
Different types of cultural activities mark the celebration of Onam which include the traditional Kathakali dance, music, art and cuisine.
Special dancers painted in yellow and black resembling tigers are seen commonly during Onam performing Pulikali dance. This time of the year is declared as the Tourism week in Kerala as this is the best time to visit the state.
Onam is of special importance as it unites people of all religions residing in the state. It spreads the message of unity and peace in society.
Important Timings On Onam
|Sunrise||August 29, 2023 6:19 AM|
|Sunset||August 29, 2023 6:32 PM|
|Thiruvonam Nakshathram Begins||August 29, 2023 2:43 AM|
|Thiruvonam Nakshathram Ends||August 29, 2023 11:50 PM|
|Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More|
Onam festival dates between 2019 & 2029
|2019||Wednesday, 11th of September|
|2020||Monday, 31st of August|
|2021||Saturday, 21st of August|
|2022||Thursday, 8th of September|
|2023||Tuesday, 29th of August|
|2024||Sunday, 15th of September|
|2025||Friday, 5th of September|
|2026||Wednesday, 26th of August|
|2027||Sunday, 12th of September|
|2028||Friday, 1st of September|
|2029||Wednesday, 22nd of August|