3 Ways To Be Happy@Home This Onam
Onam, the festival of harvest, is celebrated with zest, fun and frolic throughout Kerela. Celebrated in the month of Chingam, also the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar, an entire month is dedicated to mark the bountiful yield.
The day is also celebrated in the memory of King Mahabali. The legend has it that during the rule of this Asura King, Kerala saw its golden age. Hence, people celebrated the festival to impress the then king.
MakaaniQ tells you the ways in which you could make Onam even more enjoyable for you and your family.
Deck up your home
• One of the most prominent features of Onam celebration is pookalams (a beautiful flower arrangement done on floors). This is designed to welcome the deities and is a symbol of the harvesting time.
• Along with creating a pookalam using a wide variety of colourful flowers, you can also decorate other areas of your home using petals. Fill the vases in the home with different flowers, hang strings of flowers at the doors, place water-filled glass bowls and float flowers in them with some candles. This would not only add colours to your home but also spread the fragrance of nature all around.
• Clean your home and decorate it to make it look spic and span. Change your soft furnishings including cushions, curtains and even rugs. Opt for some floral prints or colours that signify nature. Keeping in mind the harvest theme, place a range of fruits in a basket and use it as a centrepiece for your dining table.
• How about adding some music to the celebrations? Place wind chimes near windows or doors and let the serenity fill your home.
Flavour of the feast
The festival of harvest, Onam brings some lip-smacking recipes too. While some cook the traditional recipes, some give it a contemporary twist. A multi-course vegetarian meal called Onam Sadya (banquet) is prepared in every home. This meal has 24 dishes served on a banana leaf and as a tradition is consumed while the family sits in a row on the floor. It is consumed without using any cutlery.
The menu includes — Kaaya varuthatha (banana chips), chena varuthatha (yam chips), sarkara upperi (Jaggery coated banana chips), mango pickle, lime pickle, puli inji (tamarind & ginger chutney), kichadi (gourd in mildly spiced yoghurt), pachadi (pineapple in yoghurt) , olan ( ash gourd with black beans in a coconut milk gravy), stir-fried vegetables with grated coconut, theeyal (mixed vegetable gravy), erissery (mashed beans and pumpkin with coconut gravy), avial, puliserry (yogurt-based curry), kootu curry (black chickpeas curry), sambar, rasam, spicy buttermilk, bananas, papad and boiled rice.
So, cook this sumptuous meal, and savour it with your family.
While you deck up your home, it is equally important to dress up yourself too. So, get into the latest-in-the-market Mundu, a six-metre long cloth draped by men on the lower body coupled with a shirt and Neriathu, a sari in white with a golden border, worn by women. A little boy too can wear Mundu, but girls wear a traditional skirt with a bright-coloured blouse.
Accessorise this attire with earrings, necklace, waist chain and even flowers in hair (gajra).
So, enjoy the festivities at home and visit friends and family to make the celebrations even more exciting. Also, if you are in Kerela, don't miss the boat-racing events.