The various shades of Onam


Onam means various things to completely different folks, and has a wealthy historical past of celebration

Onam means various things to completely different folks, and has a wealthy historical past of celebration

That is that point of the yr once more. There’s an air of festivity and celebration, a mad procuring spree, the roads and slender walkways are clogged – that is the dizzy spirit of Onam, the Malayali’s most vital competition. The thrill of the competition attracts them into its vortex. Those that are spaced out are left considering when Onam modified.

For them this was the harvest competition, when the darkish monsoon clouds had moved away, the harvest was achieved, the granaries have been full and after the toil it was time to have a good time. Onam was not simply nostalgic recollections of a primitive Kerala, wealthy and inexperienced, serene and clear, but additionally a legend of a perfect society that was mentioned to have as soon as existed right here.

All the things has modified and this was sure to. The fields have quick disappeared; the granaries in these previous
tharavads have been modified into cosy rooms. However the spirit of Onam and the celebrations proceed.

The competition as talked about in quite a few historic information is probably misplaced. It’s not what it was in William Logan’s
Malabar Guide or in Mankudi Maruthanar’s 200 A.D. work
Maduraikanchi or A. Sreedhara Menon’s volumes on Kerala’s historical past.

Other than the now extremely popular King Mahabali legend there are attention-grabbing variations associated to this competition. Sure historians consider that the celebration of Onam was related with Cheraman Perumal’s departure from Kerala. This final Perumal of the Chera kingdom determined to go away, entrusting the rule of his kingdom to native rulers. The folks gave the Perumal a grand ship off, and that is believed to be continued yearly as Onam.

The harvest join may be very apparent. Prior to now Kerala was largely agrarian with rice as the principle crop. Two or three crops of rice have been cultivated and harvest days have been festive days for the farmers. Onam was such a harvest competition.

Information of sure temples point out that Onam festivities happened in and across the temples. An historic document from the Sree Vallabha Temple in Thiruvattuvai or current day Thiruvalla that dates again to 861 A.D. mentions customs and traditions adopted throughout Onam. Equally, accounts from Thrikkakara temple additionally present data on Onam and the temple competition which was held throughout this time. Historical past, myths and legends, principally primarily based on remembrances, bear modifications infrequently. And as we speak, all that is a part of nostalgia.

Onam is now simply one other excuse to let your hair down; an excuse cleverly marketed. Something and the whole lot goes in the course of the season. With the proliferation of nuclear households and small flats turning into the order of the day, Onam, like every competition, has was a closed, non-public affair within the cities. And the scene will not be very completely different within the villages too the place for at the least ten days there was a lot enjoyable, festivities, distinctive folks artwork performances and conventional video games, lots of which have turn into extinct now.

Gone are the times when relations gathered collectively for feasting, gathering flowers, creating the floral carpets and taking part in on the swing, with the ladies making an attempt out their steps in
Kaikottikali . The custom of presenting the
Onakodi or
Onappudava remains to be prevalent. The one distinction being that as an alternative of the normal
puliyilakkara mundu we have now readymade designer put on.

The
pookkalams are omnipresent. However from the place did all these flowers come? Kids not roam the neighbourhood gathering flowers and misplaced is the fun of trespassing into the unfriendly neighbour’s home and making away with flowers. The flowers are available in truck masses from close by states and the straightforward floral carpets made from indigenous flowers equivalent to
thumbapoo ,
aripoo ,
kakkappoo ,
mukkutt i and so on. should not seen amidst the very complicated floral artistic endeavors.

Additionally lacking are a few of the folks artwork kinds that was once an integral a part of Onam. The
Vyravikkal , a small group of Muslim artistes, used to go to homes days earlier than Onam and play the daf, the Persian body drum. They got cash, rice or grocery. This was common in elements of Ernakulam district. Within the north of Kerala there was once the
Onavedan . Members of the Peruvannan neighborhood used to roam the villages with painted faces and adorned head gear, decked in ornaments and taking part in a small drum singing the strains
Maveli naadu vaanidum kaalam

Onapottan , principally in Kannur, Kasargod and Palakkad districts, visited homes along with his face painted in pink, sporting a crown, carrying a bell in a single hand and an umbrella made out of palm leaves within the different. He was accompanied by two others who performed the
chenda and
illathalam . Each these kinds are seen not often as of late.

Poems and tales refer extensively to romantic ideas like
Ona nilavu , seen within the clear skies with the monsoon washing the land inexperienced and clear; the
Onathumpi that’s seen within the fields and the
Onapaksh i or the migratory Yellow Oriole that sings within the spirit of Onam. Search for these harbingers of Onam round you this time.

Be a part of the gang, the joy and have a good time. Onam has actually modified however take it as it’s. Or be left alone, savouring the times passed by, flying on the wings of nostalgia. The selection is yours.



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