Onam is being celebrated globally, PM Modi, V.P. Naidu extend Onam greetings, Shashi Tharoor was persuaded to do the Onam swing tradition!
Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader who resides in Kerala enjoying the festivities in the spirit of gusto said, “There’s an Onam swing tradition that one normally leaves to young girls. I was persuaded to get Into the spirit of things this year. Happy Onam!”
There’s an Onam swing tradition that one normally leaves to young girls. I was persuaded to get Into the spirit of things this year. Happy Onam! pic.twitter.com/Z23nJ9Fmfp
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 21, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sent out Onam greetings to Indians. In a tweet, the prime minister said: “Best wishes on the special occasion of Onam, a festival associated with positivity, vibrancy, brotherhood, and harmony. I pray for everyone’s good health and wellbeing.”
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu tweeted: My warm greetings on the auspicious occasion of Onam today. It marks the beginning of harvest season in various parts of our country. Onam also honours the memory of great King Mahabali of Kerala, who is celebrated for his nobility & generosity. #Onam.”
He also wrote in another tweet: “May the vibrant festival bring in peace, prosperity & happiness for all. #Onam #Onam2021.”
The Festival of Onam
Onam is celebrated every year by the Malayali community across the world. The 10-day long festival marks the beginning of harvest season as well as the appearance of the Vaman avatar of Lord Vishnu along with the homecoming of King Mahabali.
The festival begins from Atham (Hasta) nakshatram, and ends on Thiruvonam (Shravana) nakshatram. This year, the harvest festival began on August 12 and will conclude on August 23. The 10 days of the festival are named on the names of astrological stars as per the Malayalam calendar. Each of the days has its own designated name, significance, and activities.
Onam is an annual harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala and is a mega annual event for Keralites, According to the Hindu Mahabharata, Onam commemorates King Mahabali. Mahabali is noted to be an Asura, who found liberation at the feet of Vishnu through charity and religious rectitude.
Another version, established within the Bali tradition, celebrates him as a lower-caste Dravidian who challenged Brahminic hegemony. In the state-sanctioned celebrations, Mahabali is portrayed as a cultural hero: a just and benevolent ruler, he chose to even give up his rule/life for protecting his subjects and was allowed by Vamana to return back once a year.
The festival probably has ancient origins and it became intricately linked with Hindu legends at some later date. The earliest known reference is found in Maturaikkāñci – a Sangam poem – which mentions Onam being celebrated in Madurai temples. Since then, multiple temple inscriptions record celebrations of Onam. The date is based on the Panchangam which falls on the 22nd nakshatra Thiruvonam in the month Chingam of Malayalam calendar, which in the Gregorian calendar falls between August–September.
This festival is known also as a harvest festival, celebrated for the yield of new crops in the fields. It is also a symbol of remembrance of the tireless hard work of the farmers and a commemoration of gratitude to mother nature.
Delicious Dishes Cooked During Onam
Onam Sadhya is a traditional multi-course vegetarian meal served during the ten-day-long Onam festival. It is served on a banana leaf and has over 25 dishes including fried snacks, a variety of curries, pickles, sweets served alongside red rice.
Here are a few traditional dishes:
- Avial: This is a tasty healthy blend of vegetables like drumsticks, red pumpkin, yams, and potatoes cooked in thick yogurt and coconut paste.
- Moru Curry: A mouthwatering gravy made with coconut paste and curd seasoned with curry leaves, green chilies, and fenugreek seeds in coconut oil.
- Sambar: A yellow lentil (dal) curry cooked in a flavorful masala with vegetables.
- Beetroot Pachad: An exotic-looking pink pickle prepared using beetroot, tamarind, onions, and jaggery cooked in coconut oil.
- Ada Pradhaman: A dessert made with palm jaggery, ada rice, cashew nuts, and fresh coconut milk.