Onam Festival

Onam is the most popular festival of Kerala (a southern coastal state of India). This is a Hindu festival, celebrated with a great enthusiasm throughout Kerala for a period of ten days. Every year this festival falls on the Malayalam month of Chingam - between August and September and also known as the harvest festival of Kerala. It is the festival, which the keralites celebrate united without the difference of caste and religion. Onam is a time for sports and festivities and in Kerala where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes and backwaters, the people take to their boats and country crafts to celebrate. Colorful aquatic festivals are organized along the sacred river Pamba. Although this festival has its origin in Hindu mythology, Onam is for all people of all class and creed. Hindus, Muslims and Christians, the wealthy and the downtrodden, all celebrate Onam with equal fervor.

The secular character of Onam is peculiar to this land where unity had always coexisted with diversity, especially during festivals, when people come together to celebrate life's unlimited joys. Whatever may happen they will not miss the Grant lunch. There is a saying in Malayalam that "Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam" which means, "We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties". They give that much importance to the lunch on the Thiruonam day. Thousands throng the banks to cheer and watch the breathtaking show of muscle power, rowing skills and rapid rhythm. These boats - all pitted against their own kind - rip through the backwaters of Kerala in a tussle of speed. The secular character of Onam is peculiar to this land where unity had always coexisted with diversity, especially during festivals, when people come together to celebrate life's unlimited joys.

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