Happy Onam 2020: All you need to know about the 10 days of celebration

One of the most popular festival in Kerala, Onam is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy, in the months of August and September. Onam, also referred to as Thiru-Onam or Thiruvonam, falls in the first month of the Malayalam calendar, Chingam. The festivities go on for a period of 10 days and this year, the celebration starts on August 22 and continue till September 2.

Each day of the festival has its own name, significance and activities that are relevant for that day. There are also a few post-Onam celebrations which add to the 10-day festival. Here is all you need to know about each day of the celebrations.

August 22, Atham: The festival starts with people decorating their homes with yellow flowers, known as Pookalam. These flowers grow in size with each passing day of the festival.

August 23, Chithira: The 2nd day of the festival is reserved for the customary cleaning of the entire house and another layer of flowers is added to the Pookalam.

August 24, Chodi: On the 3rd day of the festivities, following the addition of the Pookalam, the family gets together and begins shopping for each other. They gift each other new clothes, known as Onakodi, and jewellery.

August 25. Vishakam: The 4th day is considered the most auspicious of all the days of the festival and is the day when the preparations for the Onasadhya begins. The various competitions organised for the festival also begin today.

August 26, Anizham: The Vallamkali boat race happens on the 5th day. It starts from the small town, Aranmula, which is located on the banks of the Pamba river in Pathanamthitta

August 27, Thriketa: The 6th day is especially joyous for the children as the schools start closing and all the time is devoted to the preparation and celebration of the festival.

August 28, Moolam: Several places see the start of Onasadhya and dance performances. The decoration of the sate also begins on the 7th day.

August 29, Pooradam: On the 8 day of celebration, statues of Vamana and Kind Mahabali are cleaned and placed in the centre of the Pookalam.

August 30, Uthradom: It is believed that on the 9th day King Mahabali reaches the state. Its is considered the most important day and people start to buy fresh vegetables and start cooking the traditional meals.

August 31, Thiruonam: All the preparations done up till now give fruit on the 10th day. People across the state start the day early, exchange gifts and offer prayers at the temple. The elaborate Thiruona Sadya (special feast for Onam) is prepared in all households and dance and boat racing competitions continue.

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