1. Tripunithura Athachamayam
This marks the first day of Onam which is celebrated with grandeur and zeal. The day is filled with colorful inauguration which features a street parade. This includes different Kerala art forms, musicians, dancers and carnival floats and decorated elephants which walks down the streets.
Onam festival is also called the festival of flowers and Pookalam is one of the forms of celebrating this grand festival. This is referred to the ritual where the people make designs on the floor and decorate that with various flowers, usually at the door fronts and temples which looks like a flower mat.
The literal meaning of Pulikali is ‘the play of the tiger’, which was started 200 years ago. The former king of Kochi took forward the legacy of tiger dance which reflected manliness. For the dance hundreds of people get themselves painted and dressed like tiger and later they perform dance on traditional music.
Another fascinating thing about Onam festival is the famous boat race which takes place in Kerala. The Vallamkali or the snake boat race is held on the Pampa river in a grand procession which includes the Aranmula Uthrattathi boat race and Nehru Trophy Boat race. You will be left thrilled after doing this so make sure it is included in your itinerary
5. Onam Sadya
A festival without delicious food is incomplete and the Onam festival food is one of its kinds and thus the Onasadya or the ‘Onam Feast’ is the highlight of this 10-day celebration. This is a nine-course meal which comprises of 11-13 traditional dishes which is served on a banana leaf. Commemorated at the last two days, this is a form of worship which starts at 10 am and ends by 5 pm.
6. Folk Dances
Any festival is incomplete without a dance performance, and Onam festival is no different. During the festival you can see a lot of women perform folk dances. One of the dance form is Kaikottikali during King Mahabali is praised. It is a type of clap dance form. Another dance form is the Thumbi Thualli in which the women dance in circles.