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Thiruvonam 2024 Date - Importance

Onam, which breaks all barriers of caste, creed and religion, is the most anticipated festival in Kerala and by Malayalis around the world. Thiruvonam 2024 date is September 15. Thiruvonam is the day when the Asura King Mahabali (Maveli) comes to visit his subjects. Each house in Kerala decks up to welcome King Maveli, who during his reign made the ideas of a utopian rule a reality.

In 2024, the date of Onam is September 15. Onam is celebrated over four days – first Onam or Onnam Onam is on September 14. Second Onam or the most important day of Onam is Thiruvonam and it is on  September 15. Third Onam or Munnam Onam is on September 16. Fourth Onam or Naalam Onam is on September 17.

The preparation for Onam begins on the Atham nakshatra day in the Malayalam Chingam month (August – September). Atham falls around 10 days before Thiruvonam. Onam festival begins on Atham day, around 10 days before Thiruvonam. People begin purchases for the onam which include new dresses for all the people in the family. During these ten days children and women prepare the floral design called Pookalam in front of their houses to welcome King Maveli. Today there are Pookalam competitions organized by various organizations. Another major preparation is for the grand onam feast - Onam Sadya.

On the Thiruvonam day members of the family gather together, usually at the ancestral home, for Onasadya (traditional Onam feast) served on plantain leaves. The significance of the Ona Sadya is established from the popular Malayalam saying “kanam vittum onam unnanam” - Onam feast should be prepared even if one has to sell all the seedlings that are kept to sow for next harvest. Onam is traditionally a harvest festival and earlier the people of Kerala used to entirely depend on agriculture.

After the Onasadya, women and children engage in folk games, songs and dances like Oonjal Attam (soaring high on the swing), Thumbi Thullal - a traditional folk dance, Kaikottikali or Thiruvathirakali.

Onam is also time for snake boat races (Vallam Kali) and there are numerous competitions including the famous Aranmula Vallam Kali. Apart from this there are other traditional rural arts and games like Pulikali, Kummatti kali, Onathallu etc take place during the period.

Malayalis are today spread around the world and Onam transports each Malayali to his/her home in Kerala. Each malayali has sweet memories associated with Onam and it is dusted out and remembered with a smile.

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