All the Malayalees are preparing to welcome Mahabali with family members and friends wearing Onapudava with Chele. No matter which corner of the world, Malayalees never forget to celebrate Onam. Malayalis have lost their favorite festival for the last two years due to the covid Pandemic.
The celebrations that were taken away by the Pandemic and natural calamities are coming back to the homes of the Malayalees. Do you know what the legend of Onam is for the Malayalees who remember the arrival of Lord Mahabali?
When talking about the legend of Onam, the first thing that comes to Malayali’s mind is Mahabali. We all know the story of Mahabali, who was kicked down by Vamana to the underworld. The time when the demon emperor Mahabali was ruling the country
It was of abundance. Mahabali had a reign that made even the gods jealous.
The gods sought the help of Vishnu to end the pride of Mahabali who had only won in everything. Lord Vishnu disguised as Vamana asked Mahabali for three feet of soil as alms. Vamana was allowed by Mahabali to measure three feet of soil to perform tapas.
Vamana soon grew into a giant and used a large foot to measure the soil. Vamana measured heaven, earth and hell for the first two steps. With no room left for the third blow, Mahabali showed his head. Vamana kicked Mahabali down to the underworld.
A permission was also given to Mahabali to come to earth once a year i.e. on Thiruvonanal in the month of Singha to meet his subjects. So a well-known story about Onam is that Mahabali comes to visit his subjects every year on Thiruvona day.
Apart from this there is another story related to Parasurama about Onam. Parasurama, who freed the Kerala temple from Varuna and donated it to the Brahmins, fell out with them. After this the Brahmins begged Parasurama for forgiveness. Accepting forgiveness, Parasuraman promised to incarnate once a year. There is also a concept that Onam is the day when Parashurama incarnates in Thrikkakara.
Buddhists have a different concept of Onam. Lord Buddha was a prince named Siddhartha in Purvasram. Siddhartha became a monk named Sri Buddha after attaining enlightenment on Tiruvonanal in the month of Sravana (Lion). There are stories that Shravana was later known as Onam.
There is also a legend about Cheraman Perumal on Onam. Perumal converted to Islam and went to Makkah on the day of Tiruvanna in the month of Singham. Onam is also seen as a celebration commemorating this pilgrimage.
Onam this year
This year Onam is celebrated on 7th, 8th and 9th September. The 7th is celebrated as Uthratam or 1st Onam, 8th is Thiruvanam and 9th is Avitam or 3rd Onam.
The story behind the name
There is a story behind the name Onam. Shravana month is the time when people resume their trade after the dry season of Cancer and monsoon season. The month of Leo is prosperous and that is why the month of Leo is called Ponnin Singhamasa. Shravana month is also called Savanam. It is believed that the word Onam is derived from that name.