Onam is the most widely celebrated and a very important festival to Malayalees - the natives of Kerala, a state in the southern tip of India. The festival with times has gained popularity among the people of every community and even across the state of Kerala for its range of cultural activities. They include snake boat races, Athapookalam (floral design carpets) and the sumptuous meals known as Sadya. Onam is a harvest festival that also marks the start of the New Year on the Malayalam calendar (Kollavarsha). But the most popular myth behind this festival is on the return of King Mahabali - A popular and generous ruler who ruled across this land long ago. Onam is celebrated in remembrance of this golden age in mythology when there was equality, justice and prosperity and a society free from corruption. The whole state of Kerala is vibrant during the Onam season. The festival is a ten daylong event starting with the Atham day (as per the Malayalam calendar and falls normally towards the end of August) and ends on the Thiruvonam day in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September).
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