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Onam 2024 History, Significance, Observance and Importance

Published Date: 10-Dec-2022

One of the major festivals celebrated by Malayali Hindu community, Onam marks the beginning of the annual harvest season in the southern parts of India. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and accompanied by multiple festivities throughout Kerala and is treated as the official state festival. As per the Malayalam calendar, the festival is celebrated in the first month of Chingam, which overlaps with August-September in the Gregorian calendar. In 2024, the festivities of Onam will begin on 5th September (Thursday) and conclude on 17th August (Tuesday).

Onam: History and Significance

Onam 2024 History and Significance

Onam 2024 | History and Significance

According to legends, Onam is celebrated to commemorate the arrival of King Mahabali from Patala. The story goes that the demon King Mahabali who ruled in Kerala was loved by all for his generosity and kindness. This threatened the Gods and they sought Lord Vishnu’s help who disguised himself as a poor Brahmin and headed to Kerala. He asked the king to give him land that can be covered within three feet and Mahabali granted his wish. Soon, the Brahmin started to grow in size and covered the sky and earth with his first and second step. Before he could take his third step, the king offered his head for the last step which led him to Patala. However, the king was granted a blessing for his good deeds to visit his people once every year. Onam marks the day of his annual visit to Earth.

Onam Celebrations across India

Onam 2024 Celebrations across India

Onam 2024 | Celebrations across India

Although Onam is a significant festival for Malayali Hindus, all communities in Kerala celebrate this festival with great zeal. The celebrations of Onam go on for 10 days and include multiple colourful events, starting with Atthachamayam featuring a street parade with folk songs and dance, carnival floats and decorated elephants walking down the roads. Other festivities include Pookalam (flower arrangement), Pulikali (masked tiger dance), Vallamkali (snake boat race) and other traditional arts and games. Onam Sadya, a nine-course traditional feast, is prepared on the 11th day to honour the return of the king and the next day, the clay pyramids representing the king called Onathappan are immersed in water and the pookalams are wiped out. The activities continue for one more day.

Places to Observe Onam in India

  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kochi
  • Thrissur

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year’s Day Mon 01-Jan Restricted Holiday
Lohri Sat 13-Jan Restricted Holiday
Makar Sankranti Sun 14-Jan Restricted Holiday
Pongal Mon 15-Jan Restricted Holiday
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Wed 17-Jan Restricted Holiday
Republic Day Fri 26-Jan Gazetted Holiday
Losar Sat 10-Feb Restricted Holiday
Basant Panchmi Wed 14-Feb Restricted Holiday
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Sat 24-Feb Gazetted Holiday
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wed 6-Mar Restricted Holiday
Mahashivratri Fri 8-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Holi Mon 25-March Gazetted Holiday
Good Friday Fri 29-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Easter Day Sun 31-Mar Restricted Holiday
Gudi Padwa Tue 9-Apr Restricted Holiday
Eid-ul-Fitr Wed 10-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Vaisakhi (Vishu) Sat 13-Apr Restricted Holiday
Rama Navami Wed 17-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Mahavir Jayanti Sun 21-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Rabindra Jayanti Wed 8-May Restricted Holiday
Buddha Purnima (Vesak) Thu 23-May Gazetted Holiday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) Mon 17-Jun Restricted Holiday
Rath Yatra Sun 7-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Muharram (Ashura) Wed 17-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Independence Day Thu 15-Aug Gazetted Holiday
Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraz) Thu 15-Aug Public Holiday
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Mon 19-Aug Restricted Holiday
Janmashtami Mon 26-Aug Restricted Holiday
Ganesh Chaturthi Sat 7-Sep Restricted Holiday
Onam Sun 15-Sep Restricted Holiday
Milad-un-Nabi or Id-e- Milad Mon 16-Sep Gazetted Holiday
Gandhi Jayanti Wed 02-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dussehra Sat 12-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Thu 17-Oct Restricted Holiday
Karva Chauth Sun 20-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dhanteras Tue 29-Oct Restricted Holiday
Kali Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Halloween Day Thu 31-Oct No Holiday
Diwali Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Kerala Piravi Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Govardhan Puja Sat 2-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Bhai Dooj Sun 3-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Chhath Puja Thu 7-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Guru Nanak Jayanti Fri 15-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Christmas Wed 25-Dec Public Holiday
Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.

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