Onam, an official state festival of Kerala, is a traditional Hindu harvest festival celebrated in the state. This grand festival is celebrated at the beginning of the month of Chingamm, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham), with enthusiasm and joy by people of all communities of the state.
Onam was officially named as the National Festival of Kerala in 1961 because of its popularity and presentation of the rich culture of the state during the carnival.
According to a customary belief, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali. As per the popular legendary story, King Mahabali’ spirit supposedly visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
For the state, the festival of Onam is like a long carnival that lasts from four to ten days. Additionally, first day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all.
The dynamic celebration of this festival includes elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers. To promote Onam and its vibrant colors Government of India has also taken due notice of it. The action not only promotes Onam internationally but in broader terms it increase tourist fall in the country.