Onam, the major harvest festival of Kerala has a story of its own. As we step into Thiruvonam today, which is considered to be the most important day of this 10 days long festival, let us look back into some of the most significant details of Onam.
We have all heard of the stories of the various avatars of Vishnu. The most popular story of Onam circles around him.
The land which is known as Kerala today, was once ruled by a king called Mahabali. Such was the power of this king, that even the Gods were daunted by his supremacy. So, Vishnu descended on Earth and engaged in a conversation in the King’s court as a Brahmin. Whatever a Brahmin demands cannot be refused by a King and hence when Vishnu in the avatar of the Brahmin, asked him for his kingdom, the king had to hand it over to him. There was one clause though; Mahabali could visit his kingdom once every year. Onam is the festival that marks the King’s visit to his kingdom every year.
There is another story which is associated with Onam. Parashurama, who is believed to be an incarnation of Vishnu, is the one who is credited to have taken his axe and flung it in the sea-bed, thus creating Kerala. When? On the day which is celebrated as Onam!
This year, let’s take a look back into the legends associated with our festivals as we celebrate them in moderation at home, praying for the safety of everyone.