The Festival of Prosperity - Onam
I promised my NRI friend, Mathew, that I would visit his house in
Kerala and so I did. Well! I was overwhelmed by the warm hospitality
with which Mathew's parent welcomed me to their house. Mathew's father,
Mr Narayanan, told me that they are preparing for Onam festival and
requested me to be the part of the celebration. And I couldn't decline
their modest request.
Today when I sit back and commemorates the events, I find myself lucky
that I was a part of the very special occasion, when every body in
Kerala blasts with fun and frolic.
Mr Narayanan told me that Onam is a harvest festival held on Shravan
day in the month of August and September. He also told me that the
festival is celebrated for a period of 10-15 days.
Flow in the Festive zeal.!!
As the festival started the I was able to see the gaiety and excitement
that pervaded the masses in Kerala.
Mathew mother was more excited and made many sweets and good dishes for
the occasion. She also bought new clothes for her daughter, Hema and for
herself. This was the first time ever in my life when I dined sitting on
Patna (Short leg stool) and my food was served on banana leaves.
How exciting! Even I would love to make these I exclaimed
in excitement. As Mathew's mother granted me the permission, I helped
Hema, in making colorful Rangolis, and pookklam, on the major door ways.
What impressed me was pure lack of western culture that made me think
in what kind of culture WE live in today.
As the fest progresses, the excitement level within the Mathew's house
increased. In the evening we went to River pampa that was highly
decorated with lights and flowers. Mathew's father told me that river
was prepared to different water sports that had to happened in the
Race on Water!!!
He told me about a particular boat race-Vallamkali that is an exclusive
part of an Onam festival. In this particular boat race, hundred of men
row the boats to beat drums and cymbals. As the race was about to happen
next day, I requested Mr Narayanan to conceal the information about the
On the day of competition, there were number of boats varied in size
but one thing in common they all had scarlet silk umberalla with gold
coins hung on its archs. I was able to feel the energy level that
surrounded the people who were participating as well as those who were