When is Onam/Thiruvonam in 2018?
Onam/Thiruvonam Muhurat For New Delhi, India
Thiruvonam Nakshatram Begins at 06:48:20 on August 24, 2018
Thiruvonam Nakshatram Ends at 09:49:33 on August 25, 2018
Onam is a 10 day Keralite festival. The most important day is the tenth day, which is known as Thiruvonam. As it is the major day, people usually interchangeably use the terms Onam and Tiruvonam. Shravan Nakshatra is known as Thiru Onam in Malayalam. Tiru Onam Puja is performed when Shravana/Thiruvonam Nakshatra in prevailing in the Chingam month as per the Malayalam Calendar.
Thiruvonam is made of 2 terms - ‘Thiru’ and ‘Onam’. ‘Tiru’ means the one which is holy; it is equivalent to ‘Shree’ in Sanskrit. People believe that every year on this day King Maha Bali visits his people from the nether world (Patala Loka). Additionally, there are many other beliefs associated with this festival such as the birth of Vamana Avatar of Vishnu, etc.
In Kerala, there are 4 days holiday for this festival, which begins from a day before Thiruvonam and ends 2 days after Thiruvonam. These four days are known as First Onam, Second Onam, Third Onam, and Fourth Onam. The Second Onam is the main Thiruvonam day.
1. As Thiruvonam is one of the most important festivals of Kerala, Keralite people try to make its celebration as grand as possible. The celebrations begin 10 days before Thiru Onam, which is the first day of Onam festival known as Atham.
2. On the second day i.e. Chithira, people start cleaning and decorating their houses for the tenth day, Tiru Onam.
3. The eighth day i.e. Pooradam is followed by the final shoppings for the great day of Tiruvonam.
4. On the ninth day i.e. Uthradom, last minute shoppings are done like fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. In the evening of the ninth day, people cut vegetables and make other required preparations for the great day.
5. On the tenth day morning, people wake up early, take bath, wear new clothes, and give donations to the needy as per the efficiency. In many houses, the eldest member of the family brings clothes for everyone.
6. Thiruvonam Puja and rituals must be performed during the Thiruvonam/Shravan Nakshatra.
7. The house is cleaned by the women and decorated with flower carpets, especially outside the main door of the home to welcome the spirit of King Bali. Rice paste is also used to make the designs on the entrance in some houses.
8. A grand feast called Onam Sadhya is also prepared for the King, so that they get his blessings. Onam Sadya is one of the main highlights of this festival. The festival cannot be celebrated without it. Those who celebrate Onam, either prepare it at home or get it somewhere. The feast includes many dishes, usually around 26; and is served on the banana plant leaves. Dishes include different types of chips, buttermilks, sweet dishes, lentils, pickles, etc.
9. In the evening, various games and cultural events are performed.
Lamps, lights, etc. make the entire ambiance radiant after the sunset.
History Of Onam
As the mythology goes, King Mahabali was very mighty. He ruled over all 3 Lokas - Bhu Loka (Earth), Deva Loka (Heaven), & Patala Loka (Nether World). Though he belonged to a demon clan, yet he was extremely generous and his people loved him. But, Devtas were not really happy with him, as he had defeated them to win the heaven. So, they requested Lord Vishnu to help them get their kingdom back. In order to help them, Lord Vishnu took the Vamana Avatar, where he took the form of a dwarf Brahmin. As Brahmins were considered like gods and it is considered auspicious to give them donations, King Bali asked the Vamana about his wish when Lord visited him in this guise. Vamana requested for just his 3 steps of land. As soon as King asked him to take those 3 steps, Vamana started getting enlarged and became huge. He placed his first foot on heaven, second on earth, and as there was no area left to put his third step, King offered his head. Vamana pushed the King down to the netherworld with his third step. The way King offered everything so gently, Lord Vishnu got impressed and asked him for a boon. So, the King requested if he can visit his people once a year. The boon was granted. Hence, on this day of Thiruvonam, King Mahabali visits his people every year.
10-Day Onam Celebration In Kerala
1. Atham (The First Day): On this day, people do the daily routine things in the morning and then visit a temple to worship. Breakfast on the day is usually steamed bananas and fried Papad. This breakfast is taken throughout the Onam festival by many people. After that, people make Onam flower carpet (Pookalam).
2. Chithira (The Second Day): Second day also begins with worship and prayers. After that, some new flowers are added to the Pookkalam by women and men procure flowers.
3. Chodhi (The Third Day): Third day is quite important because all the markets gets prepared for the shopping and people buy stuff to prepare for the great day of Thiruvonam.
4. Visakam (The Fourth Day): On this day, flower carpet making competition is held at many places. Women prepare pickles, chips, etc. for the main day.
5. Anizham (The Fifth Day): The main attraction of this day is the great snake boat race known as Vallamkali.
6. Thriketa (The SIxth Day): Many cultural events are organized on this day. People of all ages participate in it and they also visit their loved ones to add charm to the celebration.
7. Moolam (The Seventh Day): The excitement of people is shooting high on this day. Markets get adorned with various food items. People roam around and relish many varieties of dishes. Women buy several things to decorate their houses.
8. Pooradam (The Eighth Day): On this day, people make some little idols of clay in the shape of pyramids. They call them “Maa” and offer beautiful flowers to them.
9. Uthiradam (The Ninth Day): Also, known as First Onam, it is the day of super-excitement when everyone is desperately waiting for their King to arrive. All the preparations become grand and women make huge Pookkalams.
10. Thiruvonam (The Tenth Day): The great day comes and everyone starts wishing each other, as their King Mahabali arrives to bless them. Most beautiful flower carpet is made on this day and the grand Onam food platter, Sadhya is prepared. Many cultural events are organized at different places and fireworks add glam to the ambiance. The day is also known as Second Onam.
Onam festival extends two more days after Thiruvonam making it a total 12 day celebration. However, the 10 days preceding Thiruvonam are considered main.
11. Avittom (The Eleventh Day): Also known as Third Onam, people prepare for the return of the King on this day. Some people perform a ritual of flowing the Onathappan statue in the river or sea, which they keep in the middle of their Pookalam throughout the 10 days. After this, the flower carpets are removed and cleaned. However, some people keep the flower carpets (Pookalam) till twenty eight days after Thiruvonam. On this day, the famous Tiger dance (Pulikali) is also performed.
12. Chathayam (The Twelfth Day): All the celebration officially comes to an end with a grand dance festival.
With this piece of information on Onam and Thiruvonam, we hope that you will be able to make your celebrations even more happening.