The auspicious festival of Onam falls on 31st August 2023. This 10-day long festival, started on 20th August, is celebrated in Kerala as their harvest festival. Onam pays homage to King Mahabali and Vamana. Onam is celebrated in Kerala in celebration of the sage leadership shown by the fabled demon king Mahabali, according to Hindu mythology

The Story

Following his triumph against the Gods, Mahabali had to perform a Yajna in which he had to fulfil everyone's requests. Lord Vishnu met Mahabali in the form of a dwarf kid named Vamana to test Mahabali's devotion. Vamana declined, saying that one should not want more than one's needs and that all the boy needed was three paces. Despite being taken aback by it, Mahabali consented to grant the boy's desire. As Vamana expanded, he covered the sky with one foot, the land and the river with another, and now Mahabali volunteered to plant his third foot on himself. Mahabali was carried to Pathala (hell) by Vamana, who moved by his devotion, granted him a blessing that allowed him to return to his land once a year. Onam is a celebration that commemorates the return of Mahabali.


Various rituals and customs are used to commemorate Onam, including Pookkalam (a flowery pattern painted on dwellings), Onakalikal (games), Vallamkali (boat races), Pulikali (a drama including actors costumed as tigers and hunters), and archery.


Food plays a fundamental role in the festivities, particularly Onam Sadhya or Onasadhya. The delicacies are served on a banana leaf spread on the ground, and consumption is done with the hands. It is a demonstration of humility and equality. The term "feast," "sadhya," in Malayalam, alludes to a lavish feast. Each household member is required to help with the Onam Sadhya or Onasadhya preparations. It often has over 60 ingredients, including 26 different delectable curries, fried vegetables, sweet desserts, and other meals.

Food in Kerala Sadya

In an Onasadhya, one must take advantage of these delicious dishes! – Upperi      (Banana Chips) – Inji Curry – Olan – Avial – Sambhar – Pazham      Pradhaman