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Onam Festival, Onam in 2012, Malayalam Onam, Onam Kerala
Onam: Onam is celebrated in the state of Kerala and it is the largest festival there. It is celebrated in the months of August- September. The best of Kerala culture can be seen during the festival. Onam is celebrated as a mark of homecoming of King Mahabali. Onam is also known as the harvest festival of Kerala. Onam is marked with various festivities like the popular snake boat race, the exotic Kaikottikali dance, the decorated Pookalam and ambrosial Onasadya. Onam is celebrated with great fervor and amply displays the culture and tradition of Kerala.
The Legend: There is the legend behind the Onam celebrations. King Mahabali was the demon king in ancient times in Kerala, during his reign Kerala prospered and everyone was very happy.

Mahabali was a great king. He was highly regarded by his subjects. He had all the great qualities, but he had one shortcoming. He was very egoistic and this bad quality of King Mahabali was utilized by Gods to end his reign. He was granted a boon though, that was, he can return to his subjects once in a year. The return of Mahabali every year is marked with the festival of Onam.

The Celebrations during Onam: Onam brings the best of Kerala culture. It is a carnival which lasts for a period of 10 days. All the ten days are marked with color and festivities.

One of the most impressive parts of the Onam festival is Onasadya. It is a feast. It consists of 10-13 essential dishes of Kerala. Onasadya is served on the banana leaves and people sit on mats to eat it.

Vallamkali or the snake boat race is another popular feature of the Onam festival. Hundreds of snake shaped boats participate in a race. People cheer with excitement to support their favorite team.

There is also a tradition of playing games to celebrate the festival. Men participate in various sorts of sports, for example archery, combat games called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women are engaged in various sort of decorative works. They make intricately designed mats. Women also perform two popular dances called Kaikotti Kali and Thumbi Thullal.

Tourism: Lots of national and international tourists visit Kerala during the festival. Government makes special arrangement during the festival. Also there is an effort to brand the festival to attract more international tourists.

Onam Festival in 2012 : Thursday, 1st September 2012.

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