Onam is a festival peculiar to Kerala, celebrated by people of all religion and
caste. There are many beautiful stories about this festival. The most commonly
believed among the Onam related legends is that of King Mahabali. According to
legend, the state's most colourful festival, Onam celebrates the golden age of
King Mahabali, the mythical ruler of Kerala. The festival is to welcome the
spirit of King Mahabali, and to assure him that his people are happy and wish
him well. The myth goes like this :
It is believed that the people of the region were extremely happy and content
during his rule. So much so, that the gods got envious of him and asked Lord
Vishnu to take away his kingdom. Lord Vishnu disguised as a Brahmin dwarf
Vamana, asked the King for three steps of land, which he readily granted.
Vishnu then shed his disguise and covered the earth and heaven in two steps.
For the third, King Mahabali offered his head. However, before putting his foot
on Mahabali’s head, Lord Vishnu granted the King’s last wish, that he be able
to visit his kingdom once every year. It is to welcome Mahabali back to his
kingdom that Onam is celebrated with such joy.
To find more information about Onam, try these links:
- Onam - The harvest festival of Kerala
Onam recipes - Special onam recipes : Moru curry, Theeyal, Thoran,