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Happy Onam!

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Onam is the most important festival in Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.

The Legend

According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala every year at Onam. King Mahabali was the most loved king in Kerala. But he had one flaw- ego. His ego was used as tool by the Gods to bring an end to his reign. However, Mahabali had done a lot of good deeds that God granted him a boon, that he could annually visit the people he loves in Kerala. The visit of King Mahabali is celebrated as Onam every year.

Celebrations

The spirit of the festival is enjoyed by playing various games. One of them is Vallamkali, also known as the snake boat race which is held on the River Pampa annually. Hundreds of boatmen with their well decorated boats are seen amidst songs and encouraging spectators.

Pookalam, are designed flower mats which are kept in courtyard of the house towelcome King Mahabali.

Onakalikal, are different yet collective sports which men play during the Onam festival. Games like Talappanthukali (usually played with a ball), Ambeyyal (Archery) and many more. Many other traditional activites like folk dances are also performed during the festival!