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Celebration of Onam
Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala.
The tradition of buying and wearing new clothes for the occasion of Onam is called the Onakkodi.During the Onam, Keralite Hindus install an image of Thrikkakara Appan or Onatthappan Vishnu in the form of Vamana in their home just as Hindus install images or murtis of Lord Ganesh on the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.Many lamps are lit in Hindu temples of Kerala during this celebration. A palmyra tree is erected in front of temples and surrounded with a wooden balustrade and covered with dry palmyra leaves. It is lit with a torch and burned to ashes to signify that King Mahabali went to Patala as a sacrifice.The swing is another integral part of Onam, especially in the rural areas. Young men and women, decked in their best, sing Onappaatt, or Onam songs, and rock one another on swings slung from high branches.Onam season is often associated with creativity as weavers and potters go for excess production to cater to increased demands for their products during the season, especially in North Kerala regions of Kannur and Kasargod. Handloom fairs are an integral part of the spirit of Onam festivities these days.In some parts of Kerala, people indulge in various games and dances during and post Thiruvonam. These are known as Onakkalikal. These include competitions such as Ox races Maramadimatsaram, Uriyady, food eating competitions, Pookalam competitions etc.
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