Sunday, August 27, 2006

Onam Celebration is Official Matter in TVM City

Official Onam Celebrations from Sep 3 to 10

This year’s Onam celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram city will be a grand affair – according to the late announcement by Tourism Department, Govt. of Kerala.

The main center of festivities will be Kanakakkunnu Palace in the city and there will be trade fairs, cultural extravaganza, dance and music festival, kalarippayattu, Kathakali, and a grand display of traditional Kerala showcase items.

After a gap of a few years, this year will see the buildings alongside MG Road will be illuminated to a grand display of colorful lighting. Govt. announced an award for the best illuminated private building. A sure sign of some festivity, no one in the district seems to afford to miss the only major festivity that hits the city.

In the former years, traffic in the road was blocked to facilitate city folk enjoy the illumination work. People would cover the roads, making it impossible for regular traffic. I expect a similar grandeur this year too.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Story of Onam

Seema Tells the Story behind Onam

There is a great myth behind the festival of Onam, a story that fills us everyone with hope and a bit nostalgia of losing something of good nature.

Onam is the celebration of the return of King Mahabali from the nether-world, at the consent of Vamana (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) who stamped the king down to hell.

I saw a blog-post that details the story of Mahabali and Onam (the story I promised) at Sweet Seemu Ka Jaan.

She also tells about Great Onam Feast, a culinary celebration that is unique to Onam, where all of the family members, eat Onam feast on plantain leaf spread on floor.

PS: I have promised early this month that I will tell you about the story of Onam. Sorry friends I have been a bit busy and a bad flu kept me down. Anyway you now have the story of Onam with a mallu blogger.

Random Blog Posts about Onam

I also see a few bloggers talking about Onam, they are listed below, will have more blogs in the coming days.

Mohanlal (not our beloved actor) from Kollam tells briefly about Onam at his blog.

Onam Wishes at Manoj’s Blog
Parakkulam’s Onam Wishes
Jerry’s Onam Celebration at Wipro, Bangalore (yeah, that same great Wipro Technologies)

Happy Onam For all humans


Friday, August 25, 2006

Onam Begins with Athapoo

Tomorrow, (Sunday 27) is Atham, the day to start making special floral formations called athappookkalam (also called athapoo, onapookkalam, athapookalam, etc). Athapoo is characterized by the floral formations of variety of designs in front of buildings, homes, offices (only on a day selected by the office for onam celebrations), road side platforms, etc.

Now the flowers for athapoo mainly come from neighboring state Tamil Nadu. It used to be the hobby of children of Kerala to go into the farms, growings and even forests to collect flowers for athapoo and it is a big festival that everyone together makes the athapoo formation in front of homes.

Shall provide links to some onapookalam photos tomorrow.



Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Day Out in TVM City

Though Onam festival is a month away I decided to have a look at the preparations leading up to the grand festival. The part is onam is a grand shopping season for all Malayalees.

I have committed to meet a few of my friends at Gandhi Park in the city. I got to the place a bit earlier than scheduled, mainly to have a feel of the shopping fever gripping our people.

It feels that the shopping season is a bit soaked by the rain lashing the city for quite a few days now. The real festival is still 20 days ago.

Shopping windows have started displaying ‘Discount Sale’ boards that claims 30 p.c. to 50 p.c. discount on sale price of various items. It is early part and the discount is applicable mainly to fabrics items.

I can’t stop amusing at the success of a textile shop in Pazhavagadi near East Fort Trivandrum. Without doubt, this textile shop called Ramachandra Textiles (actually a series of more than 15 shops) attracts people shopping for dress materials. The name is that cheapest dress materials are available in this shop. I was not able to get into the shop as it the rush inside the shop was bigger than it would be in a crowded local bus.

Sure Aiyappa’s, Parthas, Novelty, Park Avenue, and a hundred and fifty shops in close vicinity also have announced huge discounts for clothing items.

I am looking for a similar discount for the Yamaha G5 I plan to buy this Onam season. Zero percent finance is a sales technique that motor dealers used in the past. However such a solid offer is not coming from the dealers I look to.

My Onam shopping list includes just two items – a bike and a digital camera (so that I can better describe what I see in the city). Do you have a used 5plus MP camera? If you are from TVM, contact me via email provided on the left sidebar.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Special Onam Series Coming

Special Onam Series Coming

Kerala’s national festival is essentially a harvest festival and hence the theme of abundance for the festival. Abundance of health, wealth and peace of mind, the festival is all these, and some more.

Watch Kerala Tourist for stories about the national festival of God’s own country. Onam, national festival of Kerala levitates the spirit of everyone Malayalee.

I would like to make a promise here to come up with as many Onam related posts.

Watch this blog for special onam myth, stories, entertainment, celebration etc.

Background information about Onam (For NON MALAYALEES only)

Onam brings the memory of a just king who ruled the land of Kerala in a just manner. During the rule of Mahabali, the demon king, the land prospered and people lived in peace, full of health and wealth and with no evil thoughts.

The king of God’s got jealous of Mahabali, cheated him and sent him to the netherworld. (I will tell this story in detail as a separate post.) Mahabali the king has permission to visit his people once in a year on Thiruvonam day of the Malayalam month Chingam.

We (Malayalees) celebrate the arrival of our loved king with unmatchable fervor.

This year’s Onam (Thiruvonam) falls on September 5. The celebration actually lasts over many days.

Onam Time Table for 2006

August 27 Atham. Beginning of decoration of courtyards of homes, clubs and offices with special floral decorations called Athapookkalam, athappoo, Onapookkalam. There is a saying “atham pathinu ponnonam” means on the tenth day of atham is Thiruvonam.

Sep 4 Onnam Onam or 1st onam, the day before actual thiruvonam

Sep 5 Thiruvonam, actual onam day. It is imperative for every Malayalee to have food from their home with whole family.

Sep 6 Moonnam Onam 3rd Onam

Sep 7 Nalam Onam 4th Onam

For more information visit (Official Kerala tourism website)