Onam – The Festival Of Joy And Prosperity

Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

By Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

  • 6 Min Read
  • 4th January, 2023
Onam – The Festival Of Joy And Prosperity

What is Onam?

Onam is a major Hindu festival celebrated in the state of Kerala, India. It falls in the month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the homecoming of the demon-king Mahabali. People celebrate Onam with colourful decorations, traditional food and games. The main attraction of the festival is the grand Onam festival, which is enjoyed by all. Onam is a time of joy and celebration and is considered one of the most important festivals in Kerala.

Onam is a time for the feast

Onam is feast time! During the festival, you can indulge in several traditional dishes including green plantains, jackfruit, puffed rice, and of course the ever-popular Onam Sadhya. Sadhya is a banquet-style meal that usually includes more than two dozen dishes. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for a delicious and authentic Indian culinary experience, Onam is the right time to try it!

Onam is a time of happiness

So what are the things that make Onam so special? Well, for starters, there's the incredible food. Onam is all about delicious traditional dishes like avial, khichdi and pachadi. And of course, no festival is complete without sweets like Payasam and Ada Pradhan. Then there are the traditional Onam festivities – elaborate pookalam (carpet of flowers), beautiful costumes and joyous dance. It is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate all that is good in life. Onam is indeed a festival of happiness and prosperity!

Rasam is one of the most favorite dishes eaten by people during Onam.

Easy way to make rasam

Preparation time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 Minutes

Soaking time - 30 minutes


• 1 tsp tamarind

• 1 tomato

• 1.5 tsp rasam powder

• 1/2 teaspoon sugar

• 1/2 turmeric powder

• Salt - as required

• 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

• 5 curry leaves

For the tempering

• 1 tbsp ghee/oil

• 1/2 tsp mustard

• 2 red chilies

• 1 tsp cumin

• 1 sprig curry leaves


• Soak tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes and extract its juice and keep aside. Total water 3 cups and chop the tomatoes roughly.

• Heat the wok and cook the tomatoes in oil with a pinch of salt till they become soft. Add tamarind extract, turmeric, curry leaves and half the coriander leaves.

• Boil and add rasam powder, salt and sugar.

• Mix well and let it come to a boil. Switch off the flame and take it out in a serving bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves. Shut down immediately.

• Temper the ingredients given for tempering and put them in the rasam.

Be it Diwali or Raksha Bandhan or Onam, Rangoli is a very important part of festivals. Similarly, the Rangoli made in Onam is called Onam Pookalam

Let's learn the easy design of Onam Pookalam

New Pookalams are made outside the door of the house every day for the entire 10 days of the Onam festival. Onam Pookalam is usually made in a circular shape and then filled with delicate flower petal designs. A variety of flowers are used to make a beautiful Pookalam, which begins at Atham (the first day) and ends on Thiruvonam (the tenth day) to signify the glorious days of King Mahabali's reign. To make Pookalam, start by separating the flowers and then make a rough sketch of a flower with chalk after it's done, start filling it with the flowers. Make its shape according to your preference.


Onam is one of the most important festivals in Kerala and is celebrated with a traditional feast known as Sadya. This food is a true celebration of flavors, textures, and spices, and is a great way to experience the authentic cuisine of Kerala.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Onam celebrated?

Onam is celebrated to honor the arrival of a mythological-demonic king Mahabali. Mahabali was a demon but he was known to be generous and kind. The deities were very insecure about the popularity of the demon king and hence, they sought help from Lord Vishnu.

Common items in Onam Sadhya include: Kaya Varuthatha, Chhena Varuthatha, Sarkar Upari, Mango Pickle, Lime Pickle, Puli Enji, Khichdi, Pachadi and Olan.

The best part of Onam festival is Sadya! On the day of Thiruvonam, you are blessed with the traditional Onam Sadya. There will be more than 25 different types of dishes that are served on a banana leaf. Sadya is one of the most important and anticipated elements of Onam.

The filling of vibrant color red flowers in Onam Pookalam is made from these flowers. It is known as the official Onam flower as it adds its charm to the entire rangoli of flowers, making it look very attractive.

Chavittukali is a folk dance of Kerala which is performed in festivals like Onam, Vishu and some temple fairs. Popular in central Kerala and Malappuram, art is performed by the Ullada, Orly, Cherumar and Kanakkar communities.


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Kerala's Sadhya - Onam Special
  • Cooking

Kerala's Sadhya - Onam Special

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