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The Story Of Onam-The Origin of Onam-The Custom of Onam-Onam Gifts-Onam Video

The Story Of Onam

A long long time ago, an Asura (demon) king called Mahabali ruled Kerala. He was a wise, benevolent and judicious ruler and beloved of his subjects. Soon his fame as an able king began to spread far and wide, but when he extended his rule to the heavens and the netherworld, the gods felt challenged and began to fear his growing powers. Presuming that he might become over-powerful, Aditi, the mother of Devas pleaded with Lord Vishnu to curtail Mahabali's powers. Vishnu transformed himself into a dwarf called Vamana and approached Mahabali while he was performing a yajna and asked for alms. Pleased with the dwarf brahmin's wisdom, Mahabali granted him a wish. The Emperor's preceptor, Sukracharya warned him against making the gift, for he realized that the seeker was no ordinary person. But the Emperor's kingly ego was boosted to think that God had asked him for a favor. So he firmly declared that there is no greater sin than going back on one's promise. He kept his word. The Vamana asked for a simple gift — three paces of land — and the king agreed to it. Vishnu in the guise of Vamana then increased his stature and with the first step covered the sky, blotting out the stars, and with the second, straddled the netherworld. Realising that Vamana's third step will destroy the earth, Mahabali offered his head as the last step.
Vishnu's fatal third step pushed him to the netherworld, but before banishing him to the underworld Vishnu granted him a boon. Since he was attached to his kingdom and his people, he was allowed to return once a year from exile. Onam is the celebration that marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. It is the day when a grateful Kerala pays a glorious tribute to the memory of this benign king who gave his all for his subjects.

The Origin of Onam 

Onam or Thiruonam originated as a joyous annual reminiscence of the golden rule of King Mahabali, a mythical king, who ruled Kerala a very long time ago. It recalls the sacrifice of the great king, his true devotion to God, his human pride and his ultimate redemption. Onam welcomes the spirit of a great king, and assures him that his people are happy and wish him well.

The Custom 

A flower carpet called 'Pookalam' is laid in front of every house to welcome the advent of the vanquished king, and earthen mounds representing Mahabali and Vishnu are placed in the dung-plastered courtyards. Traditional rituals are performed followed by a lavish feast called 'Sadhya'. Onam also means new clothes for the whole family, sumptuous home-cooked delicacies on plantain leaf and the lingering aroma of the sweet

Onam Gifts Ideas

On the occasion of Onam festivities, if you also want to gift your friends and family with some ideal Onam gifts, here are few options you can chose from.

Silver Coin
The most popular and traditional gift given Onam is 'Silver Coin'. Generally people prefer coins with Laxmi- Ganesh images as it is not only presentable but also auspicious.

Gold Jewelry
Gold Jewelry is also popular gift exchange amongst families. Generally, fathers present their daughters with expensive gold jewelries and husbands also present their wife with traditional gold jewelries.

Clothes are the most commonly presented Onam gifts. The elders of the family present several traditional dresses to the younger members of their family. People were this dress on the day of Tiruvonam, the tenth day of the celebrations.

Home Appliances
The tradition of presenting gift is now changing; people are now getting more inclined towards things of immediate uses like home appliances. These are very useful and also add on to the living standard of the person.

Gadgets are another extremely popular gift items during the Onam festivals. Mobile Phones, I-pods, I-phones, portable DVD players, laptops and video games are the most popular gadgets presented during the Onam festival.

Gift Coupons
People also present various kinds of gift vouchers and food coupons as a part of Onam gifts. This at times also includes passes to city club, movie tickets etc.

Onam Video