A Truly Secular Festival – Onam

Onam is probably the only Indian festival that is truly secular and has a beautiful socio-cultural relevance. And in that sense it’s very contemporary.

Celebrating Onam as a Community

Onam is a harvest festival all Malayalees all over the world celebrate to mark the return of their legendary king Mahabali.

King Mahabali Greets Everyone & a Bharatanatyam Dancer Waits Her Turn To Perform

This year, I went along with my family for the first time to celebrate Onam as part of our community at Palm Meadows, Bangalore. It was truly a feast fit for a king!

It’s A Full House – Onam 2017

The 10-day festival falls in the month of August-September. Malayalees prepare to receive Mahabali with various traditional celebrations which include floral arrangements, folk songs and dance and the legendary 9-course meal on a plantain leaf called Sadya.

Pookkalams – Floral Decor

It is an occasion for everyone to forget their afflictions and immerse themselves in the celebrations – to re-enact the golden period under Mahabali.

Different Intricate Onam Pookkalam Designs Vie For the Big Prize

I have Malayali friends belonging to three communities – Hindu, Christian and Muslim and they all celebrate Onam with equal fervor every year.

The 9-Course Meal Synonymous With Onam – The Sadya

This year my friend Manzoor Rahman sent me a hilarious video of him dancing in a mundu (sarong) on the occasion of Onam along with his saree-clad Hindu guy friends on stage at a local Bangalore church. Now, that’s the India of my dreams.

5 thoughts on “A Truly Secular Festival – Onam

  1. Hello, just wanted to let you know that we had a great holiday at Marina de Bolnuevo in June of this year (http://www.marinadebolnuevo.co.uk/about-bolnuevo). We flew into San Javier and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are sublime, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The cafes were great, with paella on the beach a highlight and managed a trip to the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again next year. Look forward to seeing you at Marina de Bolnuevo in the next few months. Thanks for reading Niall.

  2. Hi there, just wanted to share with you that we had a great holiday at Marina de Bolnuevo in August of this year (http://www.marinadebolnuevo.co.uk/about-bolnuevo). We flew into Alicante and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are perfect, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The restaurents were great, with paella on the beach a highlight and managed a trip to the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again next year. Look forward to meeting you at Marina de Bolnuevo in the next few months. Thanks for reading Alicia.

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