Having taken a two-year pandemic hiatus, Kerala is all set to celebrate Onam with gusto!
Onam. A revered festival of harvest, a rejoicing of the homecoming of the mythical demon King Mahabali. A celebration so special and dear to God’s own land; the 10 joyous days are astoundingly infectious across the country, beyond Kerala, and even overseas. Think Onam, and visions of yellow and orange gendas, delicately lit diyas and the delicious Onam Sadhya fill the senses. However, those few who understand the relevance and have experienced the authentic festivities associated with the 10-day long period know that Onam is very much more! A real-life Onam experience is a definite yes to any travellers’ bucket list (a huge shout-out to cultural enthusiasts and photographers who revel in the richness of local cultures and their people).
After two years of keeping Onam low-key owing to the pandemic, Kerala Tourism is geared up to bring alive the vibrant festivities to the streets and homes of Kerala with carnivals, arts and artforms and a showcase of the rich and ancient traditions associated with the festival.
Inviting tourists and those who would like to witness and partake in the celebrations, Sri Rupesh Kumar, Responsible Tourism Mission Coordinator, Government of Kerala says, “The Responsible Tourism Mission is providing an opportunity for tourists to be a part of Onam celebrations in villages too. There is also an opportunity to have Onam Sadya in the local homes. Kerala Tourism is organizing a wide range of Onam celebration programs in all the district centres. Onam procession will be resumed as a grand celebration in Thiruvananthapuram and the champions boat league was announced by Hon’ble Tourism Minister Mr. P.A. Muhammad Riaz.”
Larger than life, Onam’s ancient traditions reflect in every street and corner of Kerala beginning with the creation of Pookalam on Atham, the first day. Each passing day fills the air with brimming enthusiasm, a riot of colours, Pookamal face-offs, dances, local dramas and music. Puli kali dances where people paint their bodies in yellow and white stripes and perform the ancient tiger dance on the fourth day of Onam is a photographer’s delight and joy to watch. The 400-year old traditional snake boat race that marks day five has long claimed a space on the world map of exotic photo-ops and culture fest! Then comes the day of Carnival on Day 6, of many cultural gatherings of creative and performing arts from across the social, cultural and political fabric of Kerala.
Culminating in exchanges of produce from the farms and gifts, and the Onam Sadhya, a culinary gala featuring over 25 traditional dishes seals the festivities with wishes for a new cycle of a harvest.
Our favourite place to enjoy Onam festivities? Kochi
Where can you stay for an authentic Onam holiday and easy access to celebrations? Eighth Bastion and Brunton Boatyard in Fort Kochi. Don’t miss the Pookamal creations (you can even try your hand at it) and the age-old customary local games that are played in the properties during this time.
Where can you eat Onam Sadhya? East Indies and surely do a meal at History, Brunton Boatyard – the absolutely delish menu here includes 32 cuisines from all communities who’ve made Kochi their home!
CGH Earth – Experience Hotels
“God lies in the details, waiting to be discovered”, is the thought that has inspired CGH Earth from the very beginning, and the core values of Environmental Sensitivity, benefitting the community, and being local have always been CGH Earth’s constant guide.
The collection of 16 uniquely different holiday resorts and 4 curated wellness retreats, draw inspiration from the knowledge and practice of the local community. Local architecture, people, cuisine, costumes, knowledge, tradition and customs woven with the needs of the modern discerning traveler is what you get here. From backwaters and beaches to mountains and historical towns; from traditional Ayurveda and Yoga to forest trekking, deep sea diving and backwater cruising, CGH Earth has a variety of experiences to offer.
For the guest, this approach provides an immersive and authentic experience, giving them a true sense of the place. To the team, it was ideas and traditions which had been always theirs that now define the identity of each resort. To the local villager, a sense of wonder that their village architecture, traditions, and practices are at the heart of our special guest experiences. And even after thirty years, CGH Earth has not ceased to create a sense of wonder for the guests, staff, and villagers alike.
We have Spice Village, Wayanad Wild, Coconut Lagoon, Spice Coast Cruises, Marari Beach Resort, Brunton Boatyard, Chittoor Kottaram, Eighth Bastion, Beach Gate Bungalows, David Hall art Gallery and cafe, Casino Hotel, Quiet by the River in Kerala. Visalam and Mantra Koodam in Tamil Nadu. Maison Perumal and Palais de Mahe in Pondicherry. Tilar Siro in the Andamans.