Friday, September 6, 2013

Onam Celebration - Festivity Across the World With Great Pomp and Show


Onam is the state festival of Kerala which is celebrated with great pomp and show. It falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the homecoming of the Great King Mahabali (Asura King) who was loved by all his subjects. It is a 10 day festival and starts with Atham (the first day) and ends with Thiruvonam (the last day). This festival begins on the first day with parade called Aathachamayam which is a royal parade in the Thrikakkara Temple in Thripunithara (suburb of Kochi). It is the biggest festival of Kerala and also the harvest festival of Malayalis which is celebrated by each of them of varied community all over the land.
Malayali people of varied communities living in the various parts of the world celebrate this festival with great zeal and joy. Pookalam (floral carpets), Onasadya (feast dinner), Vallam kali (boat races), Kaikottikkali (womanly dance), Thumbithullal (Folk dances), Kummatti Kali and Pulikali (Tiger Dance) are the prime things that are done and prepared in an Onam celebration. Other things that are done during the celebration of this festival are; sending greetings, indulging in some apparel and jewellery shopping etc. Every year, Malayali people living in various countries particularly in USA, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria celebrates Onam with great pomp and make it the memorable until next year.
Onam Celebrations in USA: Malayali people living in USA celebrate this festival creating colourful decorations of floral carpets and everything else linked with Onam festivities. Places in US which have a huge Malayali presence like New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit, North Carolina celebrate this festival by organizing and performing art5 forms like; Thiruvathirakali, chenda melam, pulikali, vanchippattu. In some place like Chicago where Malayali people resides in a large number, they organize war competitions. Except, the traditional boat race, the US Malayalis celebrate every bit of Onam preparing Sadya to dressing in traditional attire. 
Celebrating Onam in Italy: In the European country of Italy, all the Malayalis people living in various parts come together for the celebrations of Onam. The major places in Italy where Onam celebration is held with grand success are Rome, Milan etc. Dances and feasts are conducted by various organizations alike to USA.
Switzerland Onam Celebrations: Several Malayali associations of Zurich, Bern and Basel celebrate this festival by organizing socio cultural festival and serving many dishes which are prepared on this occasion like; Ona Sadya, Idli etc. Children and elders dressed in traditional Kerala style visit to various programmes that are organized by the associations in their respective places, musical and visual extravaganza are served along with traditional many dishes like Ona Sadya, Idli etc.        



Celebrations in Indian Cities:

Delhi Malayalees Onam Celebration:
In the capital city of India, many restaurants and hotels prepare various foods related to Onam like, Pachadi, Theeyal, Avial, Throan etc. Homes are decorated with flowers with kids and elders wearing new dress. Some places also hosts cultural programmes where one can relish varied meals and traditional dances. With the initiatives by DMA (Delhi Malayalee Association, in many Malayalee dominating parts like in Mayur Vihar, Dilshad Garden, VikasPuri, Janak Puri, Srinivas Puri, etc Many events are been organaised.

Alike, Delhi many other places in India like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai etc. organizes various feast and cultural programmes which are attended not only by the Malayali people but by various other peoples who comes to celebrate this festival and relish various mouth watering delicacies that are prepared during this festival.