Six Interesting Facts About Kerala’s Onam Festival

Posted On August 1, 2018 by Tours In India

Onam Festival

Onam is the most important and biggest festival time of the year for all Malayalees. This harvest festival also signifies the beginning of the New Year in the Malayalam calendar. Loads of fun activities happen over the period of two weeks all over the state.

Here are six of the most sought after Kerala Onam festival fun just for you.

Don’t forget to watch out for the floral power of the Onam pookalams or soft magical carpets decorated for the occasion. One good idea is to get into a homestay package from Kerala Tourism, to get into the groove of the Onam festival excitement.

1. Feasting

What is more exciting than Heavenly food? The delicious feast fit for the gods is prepared by expert cooks across the state during this time. Without this banquet of Onam festival food, the festival is not complete. Here people call it the Onasadya, and it encompasses some tasty treats like more than 20 different curries served up on a green and clean banana leaf.

Well, you don’t need to search too much to get started with this the Onam festival food or feast, for all restaurants in Kerala serve them piping hot with authentic flavors.

Welcome to Alleppey boat house as it offers some exciting offers for this Onam which falls on August 24, 2018. Get ready to awaken your taste buds with delicious yummy dishes of Kerala. If you are a non-Keralite, this is the best time to know the every nook and corner of Kerala culture and traditions. Don’t miss any of our dishes exclusively made for you. Our special dishes include kaalan, pulissery, olan, koottukari, kichadi, pachadi, inji-puli, banana chips, papadam and payasam etc along with Kerala rice and sambar. Our talented cooks share their signature dishes on Thiruvonam day to showcase a best Onam feast.

Place – Restaurants in most cities throughout Kerala, on the Thiru Onam day or the Onam festival date on September 14, 2016.

2.  Aranmula Snake Boat Race


The king of all boat races of India, this one is one hot fun activity you wouldn’t like to miss during the Onam festival. It is the most famous and also the oldest snake boat races of Kerala.Aranmula vallamkali or boat race takes place in the banks of Pampa river in the Pathanamthitta district. Here, the focus is not on competing but on the tradition. It has religious significance too since it also honors the installation of Lord Krishna’s idol in the adjacent Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Close to 50 boats compete in this race; it begins in the afternoon followed after the religious rituals. The boats used for these races are known as Palliyodams. To see the spirit of every individual, an idel tour package is the best. Book Kerala tour package and mark your presence to witness Kerala’s most awaited event.

Here, the focus is not on competing but on the tradition. It has religious significance too since it also honors the installation of Lord Krishna’s idol in the adjacent Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Close to 50 boats compete in this race; it begins in the afternoon followed after the religious rituals. 


Place – Banks of the Pampa River adjacent to the Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, on September 17, 2016. (It takes 30 minutes via road from the Chengannur railway station)

3. Thrikkakara Temple Celebrations


Thrikkakara Temple celebrations happen simultaneously with the Onam festival. Celebrations begin here on Atham with the flag hoisting ceremony. Cultural dance and music performances continue for the following ten days. I have to mention about the highlight which is a grand procession called pakalpooram; that happens right before Thiru Onam day.  

Vamana, the main god’s idol is placed on an elephant and taken around the temple grounds, followed by similar groups of elephants.

Place –  Thrikkakara village, 15 km northeast from Ernakulam adjacent to Kochi, on the day before Thiru Onam, September 13, 2016. Here are the top 10 hill stations in kerala for a perfect honeymoon .

To feel the real essence off God’s own country, Onam is the ideal time to visit Kerala and Alleppey houseboats can make you happy with a ride through the green backwaters in the wafting aromas of coconut trees.

4. Onam Week

Kerala Tourism carries out a big week-long Onam celebration in almost 20 places throughout the state’s capital, Trivandrum. The activities include food stalls, folk art, handicraft fairs, stage shows like theater or dance dramas or classical dance. On the last day, it finishes off in style with decorated elephants .

Place – Many venues throughout Trivandrum, during September 12-18, 2016.


5. Panther or Tiger Play or Pulikali


Up like tigers or panthers, dance to the beat of traditional percussion

Scores of big men body-painted and dressed  instruments like the Chenda.

This is a refreshing feature of the Onam festival date celebrations.
You might find this vibrant display of the Pulikali a little over the top. However, it is taken seriously by the energetic dancers!

Don’t be surprised to know that it takes more than four hours to decorate one dancer completely. The body hair is removed to help paint the skin with all the intricate detail.

Performers bath themselves with kerosene to remove the paint. The best dressed and best-performed Tiger wins great awards!. The theme of this folk art is participants playing the role of hunter and tiger. The make-up is done by using oil paints and it is quite hard to remove the paint. 

Place – Swaraj Round, Thrissur, on September 17, 2016.


6. Thripunithura Athachamayam

The best way to a vibrant start of the Onam festival is the Athachamayam festival that kicks start the celebration.

It includes a street parade along with decorated elephants and floats, various traditional Kerala art forms and of course musicians.

The festival has the interesting history; that could be traced back to the times of the Maharaja of Kochi.

He used to walk from Tripunithura to Vamanamoorthy Temple in Thrikkakara, which based on a legend is where the Onam Festival began.

Modern day celebrations only follow the king’s footsteps.

The whole town gets into the festive mood with floral arrangements, decorations and street stalls.

Teams also fight for the floral rangoli (pookalam) competitions.

Planning to enjoy Onam festival or visit Kerala now? Here are the 11 Best Places To Visit In Alleppey

ToursinIndia is a reliable travelling expert who is there to help you with that. Travel happily with our special Kerala houseboats packages that are excitingly low in prices than before. To grab this offer just talk to our friendly team to start your memorable journey to Kerala for this Onam. Be quick for these are selling faster than we thought. Contact us right away to make the best use of the festive time tour packages.

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