Onam is one of the major festivals of Kollam. It is celebrated in Chingam, the first month of Malayalam calendar. Chingam corresponds to the months of August-September in the Christian calendar.

Onam is a ten day festival that begins with Atham, the date of which is decided according to the position of the stars. Atham is considered to be the most auspicious day. The Atham and Thiru are the two important days of the festival. The festivities of Onam begin from lunar asterism and culminate on Thiru Onam. Thiru Onam corresponds to the Shravan day. Therefore, Onam in Kollam is also known as Sravanotsavam.

Legends believe that Lord Vishnu took his first avatar (incarnation) during this time of the year as Vaamana (dwarf). Vaamana is said to have visited King Mahabali. Onam in Kollam is celebrated in accordance with the legend of King Mahabali and the Vaamana avatar. It is further believed that the king visits Kerala on the last day of the festival. Therefore, the festival is celebrated with pomp and grandeur in order to pay reverence to the king. This festival is held in the Kollam temples as well as the Kollam households.

Onam at Kollam is characterized with special recipes. People of Kollam prepare authentic Keralian food. Some of the delicacies that form an inevitable part of the festivities of Onam include:
  • Banana Halwa, Lady's Finger Kichadi, Masala Pesarattu, Kalan, Masala Vada, Mothagam, Palada Pradhaman, Tomato Rasam, Dudhi (Chorekka) Pradhaman, Idli, Puliinji, Parippucurry, Injithair, Dry Fruit Kesari, Avial, Prathaman, Tomato Thokku, Olan, Thoran, Coconut Chutney, Medu Vada, Mor Kuzhambu, Rice Puttu
The Onam festivities also include a number of games. Among the most important games observed during the Onam at Kollam are Kayyankali, Ambeyyal, Onakalikal, Kutukutu, Talappanthukal and Attakalam.

Last Updated on 9/15/2011