Skip to main content

Kerala's Onam preparations starts with Atham

 

12 August, Atham, Thiruvonam in Ten Days


The picture was taken from Pexels.

Onam is the grandiose cultural celebration in Kerala honoured every year in the month of Chingam (Shravana) according to the vernacular calendar.  It marks the arrival of the spring season, following the South-Western Monsoon season that commences in June.  Historically, it marks the harvest season, the preparations and the celebrations lasting half a month, which falls towards the end of August or September.  


Kerala is the smallest state in India in terms of population and land area and the premium state. Along the shore of the Arabian sea, it borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, a traditional centre of business and trade and agricultural prominence when Indigenous people made the land use.   Harvesting, marketing, trade, and festivities were the highlight of the socio-economic life of the people then. 

Onam is a reminder of those times.  There is a myth associated with that to mystify every piece of historical phases and events.  Such myths are often symbolic too. Mahabali represents the old grandiose, and Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin, pushed him down to the underworld granting him an opportunity to make an annual visit to his countrymen--magnanimous, indeed.  

The dates Mahabali visits his people and of the preparations are all calendared using the star positions.  Thiruvonam is the big day, culminating at the end of the ten-day preparations starting with the Atham star. Thiru- Onam is the primary Onam day, extending to four more days, lasting fifteen days.  

Preparations and celebrations are marked by various formalities.  The thoughts of which enrich my mind with fond memories.  About which, I will write another time. 

This post is about Atham; today is Atham, 12 August.  The key to festivities and welcome is flowers.  Spring is the season of flowers.  When Kerala was a land of greeneries and plenty of open areas, flowers broke out from every spot.  Children got busy in the early morning collected them. Females set them in the front courtyard of their homes in colourful patterns and designs.  That is called the Atham flower arrangement.

This year, with the Covid restrictions, Onam festivities, preparations are kept under check the same as the last year.  
Photo by Anjali Paarol from Pexels

In the shortage of yard grown flowers, people in Kerala have grown dependent on the imported flowers available in the flower shops and the markets.   

This post 9 is part of the BlogChatter Half Marathon.


Comments

Subscribe to my blog entering your email below

Name

Email *

Message *

Popular posts from this blog

It's About You

 This is About Me Who have I become?   It is easy to start answering this question. I'm a maths teacher, retired, living in Cape Town, enjoying the well-defined seasons, pristine beaches, natural beauty and many more; the place has taken fame.   We live in a wine-producing location.  The Estate--a group of complexes spread out in a large area- we live in is named after a famous wine--Burgundy.  All complexes are named after wines.   Photo by  Ray Piedra  from  Pexels I followed my husband to Africa after we got married.  We rendered services to different African nations before South Africa and more years than in other nations.  I love this place.  South Africa has become a part of me.  I'm the story of town nations- India and South Africa. I'm born and brought up in Kerala, proud of its history of a time the place was a sought-after trade commercial destination: people afar as far as the middle east, African nations, and Rome had come to the place as merchants to do busines

My Father's Favourite Lux

  My Father’s Favourite Lux This is a post on the theme; my memories My mother washed my body first time with the Lux soap, and my siblings; I can say with surety because my father, addicted to Lux, brought only Lux, white   I wouldn’t know if the product was available in different colours, or my father had discarded other colours      How had my father got such a fascination for the Lux?  I have no idea; how funny those kinds of questions never get asked in the family—everything gets taken for granted.  My father wasn’t a harsh person, never in the habit of invoking fear in us.  All these thoughts lined up in my mind last week as I stood in the healthcare section of the Checkers Supermarket while shopping for the bath soaps.  In front of me, shelves stacked with a variety of them.  My eyes fell on the Lux. They come in different colours with subtexts on the silky wraps. I got interested in knowing more about the Lux family, hoping to find a reason for my father’s fascination. Th