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 is the most important harvest festival of Kerala. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered around worshipping, music, dances, sports, boat races and good food. Being a harvest festival, it is time to thank God for the bountiful yield and enjoy the bounty of nature after a year of hard labor. Elaborate procession of Trichur and spectacular snake boat races on River Pampa mark the merry-making nature of the festival. Women dress up in new saris and heavy jewelry and make elaborate and intricate designs of 'rangolis' (with colored rice paste) and 'pookkalam' (with flowers) in front of their homes. The legendary king Mahabali is welcomed to his kingdom with all the reverence. Prayers are offered to Lord Vishnu for his divine kindness.
Here is my entry for Priyanka's Onam Celebration
My Onamsadya for Onam is Rava Idli
Served with Sambhar