India is a land of festivals and none is more colourful than Onam, a prominent harvest festival enjoyed in Kerala. Several tourists are expected to purchase tickets on flights to Kerala during September 2014, when the festival is to be celebrated.
India is a unique land of unbridled festivities and celebrations. Not anywhere on earth can one see the kind of merriment and joyous revelries that one gets to see in this country. The country’s unbeatable cultural diversity is the biggest reason for it. While pan-India festivals are, of course, celebrated in a colossal manner, even provincial celebrations in India become massive affairs, given the country’s staggering population. Onam is one such regional festival that’s celebrated in Kerala, India’s southern most state. It is a harvest festival that celebrates sports and traditions of Kerala. In 2014, Onam is to be celebrated on September 7. The festivities, however, are spread across over 10 days and offer enough time to tourists who are buying flights’ tickets to enjoy the good cheer!
The Legend of Onam
According to the legend, Kerala was ruled by a demon King Mahabali. He was a popular, valiant ruler who made Kerala a prosperous state. His reign, however, was ended by gods who wanted the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ back. Touched by the humility of the demon king, gods granted him a boon that he could visit his people once in a year. It is King Mahabali’s return that’s celebrated as Onam, each year in Kerala.
Celebrations & Rituals
Onam is indeed a great time for foreign tourists to discover the colours and contours of Indian culture. Holiday makers who are keen to unravel the layers of this vibrant country can surely plan a holiday itinerary that keeps them in southern part of the nation in September. Onam is one of the most ancient Hindu festivals and is still celebrated with a great fervour.
Tourists making tickets’ bookings on India flights and seeking rewarding experience in return will surely love the elongated revelries brought along by Onam. Onam is celebrated for 10 days. Atham is the first day of celebrations and Thiruvonam is the concluding day. From a foreign tourist’s point of view, a lot happens over these ten days to actually justify the spending on air tickets and other holiday related expenses. Temples are elaborately decorated and special prayers are held to seek blessings from the almighty. Lavish treats are prepared at homes, complete with traditional curries and desserts.
On streets, the atmosphere is jovial and truly colourful. Travellers will be able to enjoy fun carnivals of elephants, boat races and music. Even firework displays are organised at many places in Kerala to mark the celebrations. Culture vultures who are always so keen to dig into anything Indian would certainly have a wonderful time at Kathakalli dance performances that are staggering to say the least. It is by watching these traditional dance forms in India that one realises how less you have invested on things like tickets, flights and hotels, and how much more you have gotten back in return.
Vallamkali Boat Race
Vallamkali or the Snake Boat Race is among the most captivating attractions of Onam. A number of international travellers, who are already in India, board flights from different corners of the country to enjoy this exciting event. The boat race is usually conducted on the fifth day of Onam. Around 30 vallams take part on the race that’s conducted on a stretch of several kilometres from the hills to the low lying plains of the province. Apart from stimulating thrill, the boat race acts as tickets to great visual delight for guests in Kerala.