Cover the floor with flower carpets and dance with the decorated elephants until you are blue in the face…
When: Varying dates in August / September, 29th August 2012, 16th September 2013.
Where: Kerala, India.
Elaborate feasts, elegant dances, ornately dressed elephants, vibrant parades, snake boat races and intricate flower carpets are all part of this breathtaking harvest festival, the biggest festival in the South Indian state of Kerala . The carnival of Onam lasts ten days with the tenth day (Thiruonam) being the most important.
The festival is held in honour of the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali. There is a very complicated legend that ends with Mahabali becoming ruler of the underworld and being allowed to visit his earthly subjects once a year (at Onam). People wear new traditional style clothes in his honour and a grand feast called Onasadya is prepared on Thiruonam (the last day). It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes and served on banana leaves.
When is Onam?
Onam dates vary each year in August and September being based on the Hindu calendar. There are actually four days of Onam. The most important day of Onam (known as Thiruonam) is the second day. Festivities actually commence 10 days before this day, with the preparation of floral arrangements (pookalam) on the ground in front of homes.
Check out our Onam flickr gallery.
Have you been to Onam in Kerala yourself? If so, please tell us all about it! You can share your pics and videos on our facebook page too! Or if you just want to say hi, or leave a comment for any other reason, we’d love to hear from you.
Food & Drink
Eat Onasadya (Onam feast), a variety of scrumptious vegetable curries (often sweetened with coconut), rice dishes, and pickles served on banana leaves. The leaf has to be placed in a particular way and the dishes are served beginning from the left with ‘Upperies’ (deep-fried dishes). Try adding some grated coconut to our delicious Sabzi Kari (vegetable curry) recipe for a taste of Kerala. Drink Jeeraka vellam, the common beverage in Kerala, prepared by adding 5g of Cumin seeds to 5 liters of boiling water.
Travel to India
Kerala is served by the airport at Cochin (Kochi). Book flights to and hotels in Cochin or Kerala with ebookers.com. You may need to search for flights and hotels separately.
Dates / venues may be subject to change or cancellation. Distances may be straight-line estimates. Please verify information before booking.
From holiday reading and travel books on India to binoculars and
Enjoy your trip! And when you’re home we’d love you to come back and tell us all about it!