Though every Malayali person celebrates the festival of Onam, regardless of which part of the world he is in. But the festive celebration of Onam in Thiruvananthapuram is fabulous with all its traditional celebration procedure.
The celebrations begin within a fortnight of the Malayalam New Year and go on for ten days. “Thiruonam” the last day of the festival is the most important. All over the state, rituals along with the new clothes, traditional cuisine, dance and music marks this festival.
In Trichur, a vibrant procession with marvelously caparisoned elephants is taken out. While at Cheruthuruthy, people gather to watch Kathakali performers enact scenes from epics and folk tales. Performers painted like the tigers dance to the beats of instruments like udukku and thakil.
At Aranmulla, a temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna where thousands of people gather to witness the exciting snake boat races. Nearly 30 chundan vallams or snake boats participate in the festival, singing traditional boat songs.
Each snake boat belongs to a village and is worshipped like a deity. Every year the boat is oiled with fish oil, coconut shell and carbon, mixed with eggs to keep the wood strong and boat slippery in the water.
The swing is another essential part of Onam, especially in the rural areas. Young men and women decked in their best, sing Onapaattu or Onam songs and rock one another on swings slung from high branches.