Onam is here finally :) and honestly siting in this hotel room in Maryland, I miss being in Boston (so you can imagine, how much I miss being in my native, Kerala), where I could have atleast prepared a mini Ona Sadya ! Today all that me and hubby is gonna do is go and watch a Mohanlal Show here in Maryland. Thats gonna be my Onam. Moreover, this time, our Onam is quiet not well, with my dad passing away ....
However, this cant stop me from reviving my good ol memories of Onam. Let me tell you what I used to do for Onam. Onam Festival falls during the Malayali month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali.
A reference form the above link:
The Legend : Story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Every body in the state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali's character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali's growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached.
It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.
Infact its not that one just celebrates on the day of Onam. Its like a season to celebrate Onam. People start preparing for Onam one month back. Its like the Holiday season . A time to get-together with family, friends and have a good time sharing happiness. Children just enjoy like anything as they get their most looked forward Onam Holidays (school-pootal) Thats what is referred to holidays becoz of the holiday season, be it Onam , or Christmas or the Summer Holidays. Usually its like 10 days. I remember this because it used to bring so much joy to me and my brother after our Ona-Pareeksha (the mid-term exam in school just before the Onam holidays start):)
My family, being Konkani, we usually just took part in the celebrations , by going to the Onam fair, ...infact we used to get-together with our relatives at our native place in Aleppey. That used to be fun, coz I used to have a great time with my cousins, all of us playing, chatting, sometimes even gossipping:)) . I had actually wanted to celebrate onam the traditional way my malayali neighbors did. So, once even I tried my hand in putting a floral decoration in front of our house:) It was fun and though it took me several hours to make a simple design, it was worth the effort of celebrating the actual Onam.
Going back to school after the 10 days was the saddest day of all:)) , but it used to be fun when it lasted, and people always had so many things to share and we were often asked by the teacher to narrate to the class, about "How I celebrated Onam" :)
Such sweet memories, hard to forget !
I miss being in Kerala with my family!