Onam, one of the major festivals for the people in Kerala falls on Friday – September 13 this year. The festival marks the beginning of a new year for the Malayalees. According to the mythological tale, the festival celebrates the return of the demon King Mahabali to the land of coconut trees. The King is welcomed with a grand feast and fervour decorations. Mahabali is considered to be the most revered king among the folk. The era in which Mahabali ruled over Kerala is considered to be the Golden period.
According to the common folklore, Mahabali was disliked by the gods despite his kindness. They then went to Lord Vishnu to seek the Almighty's help in slaying the demon. Mahabali was Vishnu’s ardent devotee but the God agreed to help. Vishnu took the mythical ‘Vaaman’ (dwarf) avatar and asked the king for three wishes. Mahabali could not say no to a Brahmin and agreed to grant him the three wishes, without realising the truth. Vishnu asked for a piece of land that measured “three paces”.
Saying so, the vaaman avatar then grew up in size and covered every inch of King’s territory in only two steps. Mahabali was the man of his words and so he asked the Lord to place the third step on his head. By doing so, he sent the king into hellfire which removed him from the throne. However, the almighty was impressed by his devotion and granted him a boon of returning to his land once every year.
Onam is therefore considered to be a festival that celebrates the return of the one who has lost his land and home. We wish the readers of News Nation a very Happy Onam. May this year bring good luck, prosperity, and a courage to rebuild your life on Panglossian pillars. Onam Ashamsakal!