Monday, September 12, 2011

"HAPPY ONAM" - Kerala's Festival of Rice Harvest and Rain Flowers

Onam is the largest festival in the Indian state of Kerala. It falls during the first month of the Malayalam calendar which is Chingam and is called as the "Festival of Rice Harvest and Rain Flowers" and marks the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali. The festival lasts for ten days and is linked to many elements of Kerala's culture and tradition. Intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunch, snake boat races, Puli Kali, and the Kaikottikkali dance all play in the festival.

According to the legend, Kerala witnessed its golden era during the reign of King Mehabali, Everybody in the state was happy and prosperous and the King was highly regarded by his subjects.

The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten day long festival. The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand  feast called ONASADYA, prepared on  Thiruonam. It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.

The Ten Days of Celebration:
1. Atham: Descending of King Mahabali from Heaven - 1st day of "Pookalam".
2. Chitira: 2nd day of Pookalam with 2 diff colors flowers.
3. Chodi:  3rd day of Pookalam with 4-5 diff color flowers.
4. Vishakam: 4th day Most auspicious day of Onam.
5. Anizham: 5th day Important day for Vallam Kali (Snake Boat)
6. Thriketa: 6th day of Pookalam with 5-6 diff color flowers and big.
7. Moolam: 7th day for smaller version of Onam Sadya
8. Pooradam: 8th day day for major traditional ritual where the small statues of Mahabali and Vamana will be washed and cleaned and taken around the house as a procession.
9. Uthradom: 9th day Onam Eve - called "Uthradapachal" - shopping day for fresh fruits and vegetables for the last day preparation.
10. Thirvuonam: 10th day - with all the things combine and end with a big Onam Sadya.

As Shoj is from Kerala ....I had to google and ask him to know about this festival....thought it would be nice if I share it with you all too!

Myself and one of our friends are preparing the feast and calling our close friends for dinner....

"Happy Onam to All of YOU!"

So here is the Onam Sadya that we prepared: (CLICK ON THE LINKS TO VIEW THE RECIPES)
Recipes that I prepared:
2. Papadam

My friend prepared: ( I am linking my old recipes for some of my friends dishes as she is a non-blogger rest I will write up the recipe with the pic that she made! :))
8. Kottu Curry with Brown Kadala/Chick Peas and Plantain
11. Ada Pradaman