On the 15th day, I am presenting the Onam festival in the 'A to Z challenge of words'.
Onam is the most famous festival of Kerala.
It is celebrated in the month of August/September. It is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm by people, irrespective of caste or creed, rich or poor. It is a harvest festival. According to a legend King Bali was a very kind and benevolent person. He was very generous and was worshipped by his subjects. The story goes that Maha Vishnu came to Mahabali’s palace disguised as poor Vamana,(a dwarf) asking for alms. Mahabali, being kind hearted, told Vamana to ask without any qualms, whatever he wanted. Vamana came back to his original form and asked for three steps of land, which were granted to him happily. In the first step, Vamana took hold of Heaven, in the second step, the Earth and in the last step, he pushed Mahabali to Hell (Netherland). However Vamana allowed the King to visit his subjects once a year. To this day, people decorate their houses, streets and fields to welcome their King.
Flower decorations known as Pookalams are seen in every house. People wear new dresses and celebrations go on for ten days.
A Sadya (feast) is prepared in every house consisting of 15 to 16 delectable dishes, like Avial, Ereserry, Rasam along with Payasam, served on a banana leaf.
Kathakali dance perfomances are organised on large scale. This is a special form of dance in which only males perform. Many dances by female artists also , are a part of the celebrations. Many dances by female artists also , are a part of the celebrations.