Why is Onam celebrated for 10 days?

The most important and popular festival of Kerala is “Onam”  which is celebrated with emotion across the state in the mid-month of  August - September. Onam is the national festival of Kerala and it is also called “Thiru-Onam” or “Thiruvonam” (Sacred Onam Day). Onam has another name i.e “Sravanmahotsav”. According to Malayalam calendar, Onam celebrated in the first month called “Chingam”. People of all age groups from younger to older celebrate this festival with equal enthusiasm for 10 days. This year Onam festival began on the 1st of September and will celebrate till the 13th of September. These 10 days are the most enjoyable and entertaining in Kerala as everyone celebrates this festival with gaiety and joy. 


Each day of Onam is identified by different names and there is a good celebration each day. These all beautiful days bring along with all the colors of Kerala - it’s history, its culture, and its beliefs. The major attraction of this festival is Pookalam a designing of beautiful flower carpets, banquet lunch, the establishment of snake boat races, Kaikottikkali dance &Puli Kali. 


Onam is celebrated for ten days to mark the homecoming of King Mahabali who is still believed to be the greatest king ever in Kerala. These ten days are full of interesting events like Pokkalam, Onakalikal, Vallamkali Boat Race and Onasadya.

All ten days have a unique name, significance and different events and activities to enjoy the celebration.


  • Atham: Onam celebration starts with visiting the temples in the morning. 
  • Chithira: On this second-day people start cleaning houses & adds a layer of flowers to Pookalam.
  • Chodi: Families go shopping as the Onam festival is associated with gifting new clothes and jewelry. People also start to add different flowers to Pookalam.
  • Vishakam: This day is considered as one of the auspicious days of Onam. Maveli stores would display their latest offers and discounts on household items. Homemakers would busy in the kitchen as they make delicious sweets & pickles for the festival. 
  • Anizham: Anizham is the fifth day of Oman. Vallamkali boat race gets starts in many places in Kerala. It is one of the most important and entertaining boat races. 
  • Thriketa: When Thriketa gets started most schools get closed and people started contributing all their time to celebrate Oman. 
  • Moolam: From this day, at several places, OnaSadya and dances related to the festivals start being performed to enjoy the fullest.
  • Pooradam: Statues of Vamana& King Mahabli are washed and get situated in the middle of the Pookalam.
  • Uthradom: According to beliefs, King Mahabali reaches Kerala on this day. People buy fresh vegetables and women cook traditional meals to celebrate the special day.
  • Thiruvonam: The last day of Onam festivals is Thiruvonam. On this special day, people take bath early in the morning, distribution of gifts and prayers to god.


So, this is the exciting thing about Oman festivals and the top reason why Oman get celebrated 10 days.

Comments and share your thoughts about how you are going to enjoy this festival.