Wishing you all and your near-and-dears a VERY HAPPY ONAM in advance !!! Last year it was celebrated on September 5th whereas this year its on August 27th. (Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/Onam)
A quick information about ONAM: [courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onam]
Onam (IPA: [oːɳam], Malayalam: ഓണം) is an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the foremost festival among the cultural repertoire of Malayalees, and falls during the month of Chingam (August-September as per the Gregorian calendar), the first month of the Malayalam calendar and lasts for ten days. Though it is essentially a harvest festival of Malayalees, mythologically it is linked to Malayalee–Hindu folktales. Like many other religious festivals in India, Onam is celebrated by people of all religions .
Significance of ONAM:
Onam is the one of the most beautiful and meaningful festival in the World. Onam has been part of Malayalee psyche for centuries. There are records of Onam being celebrated during the Sangam Age. The earliest record of Onam is found during time of Kulasekhara Perumals around A.D 800, soon after the Kalabhra Interregnum of Kerala History. Until the eighth century the political history is mostly unknown and is usually known as the Kalabhra Interregnum. Kalabhras were supposed to have been ruling Kerala until at least the sixth century. Kalabhras probably refers to Keralaputras. Who were they?. It was most probably the people of Mahabali.
Onam has two specific significance.
First it is the communal memory and celebration of past history as ennunciated in the Mahabali Legend. A story of how paradise was lost.
Second it is the celebration of the harvest tied with the memory of the golden age of prosperity.
It is believed that during those days the whole of Chingam was celebrated as Onam season.After the rain drenched month of Karkidakam with its privations, Chingam is a welcome month for people in the state of Kerala. The festival is the harbinger of spring — signalling the start of the harvest season. Onam epitomizes the newfound vigour and enthusiasm of the season, and is celebrated with traditional fervour with visit to temples, family get-togethers, gifting each other clothes called Onakkodi and lots of merry making.
Enjoy the ONAM festival. May this great day yield all what you deserve.