Women draped in cream-coloured sarees with golden borders, instead of jeans and kurtas. Neatly drawn kolams and bright, floral carpets. Plantain leaves and 13 special dishes. Folks, Thiruvonam — the festival passionately celebrated by Malayalis wherever they are — is here.
Onam is essentially a harvest festival, a token of prosperity. Women sing the melodious onapattu and perform the dance thiruvathira in traditional sarees. Children gather flowers to make carpets. Men indulge in various art forms like pulikali and kaduvakali, while women engage in kummattikali and thumbikali. Vallamkali, or boat race, is the most popular game. There is no better sight than the synchronized movement of rows and splashing water.
As the story goes, King Mahabali ruled a Utopian kingdom that even gods were jealous of. Vishnu, in the guise of Brahmin boy Vamana, came down to earth and asked Mahabali for three feet of land. When the generous king conceded, Vishu grew in size and covered the earth and heaven in his first two strides. For the remaining one foot, Mahabali asked Vamana to keep it on his head. Mahabali was thus pushed into patala, the underworld. Onam is the day the king comes back to visit his kingdom every year.
Onam Sadya is a nine-course meal consisting of 13 essential dishes. The grand feast is served on banana leaves in a meticulous manner. A number of restaurants in the city have geared up for this.
With many festivals around the corner and rich delicacies being served, there is some good news for health-conscious people. Healthy Onam, celebrated by Radha Regent E-City, is a three-day celebration that started on Monday.
“The idea is to make these dishes light on the stomach, and at the same time, enjoyable. We are preparing all traditional Kerala dishes with less cooking oil and ghee, and by steaming and grilling. We are using jaggery in place of sugar in the sweet dishes,” said Rupam Dutta, general manager.
Times of india