Gautham interview (Malayalam)
Hello. I am Gautham. I feel proud of getting a chance to say a few words on Kerala’s national festival, Onam. All over the world every Malayalee or Keralite enjoys celebrating Onam regardless of their caste, religion, sex or age. That is why it is known as a national festival.
Onam comes in August or September. In Malayalam the month is called ‘Chingam’. It starts on atham, continues on for ten days, and ends on thiruonam. These ten days all people are in a festive mood. People decorate their courtyards with flowers called pookalam, ladies dance thiruvathira, men enjoy boat races (vallamkali), children play on swings (oonyal).
Onam is celebrated in the memory of a popular king Mahabali, who lives in the nether world now. On thiruonam we believe he comes to earth to visit his beloved citizens (prajas). People welcome him by wearing new clothes, onakodi, and preparing a delicious feast, onasadya. The main dish of it is a sweet porridge, payasam. Everybody sings folk songs on Onam.