Onam Festival Essay

Essay on Onam Festival

India is a country with so many delightful festivals that take place throughout the year. Festival is one of the greatest subjects for essays in school. Be it Makar Sankranti Essay, Navratri Essay, Ganesh Chaturthi Essay, or an Onam festival essay in English. If students are looking for information to write an Onam essay in English, then it is the perfect place to land. Read on to know all about the Onam festival and how it is celebrated. IMP has given detailed information about the Onam festival.


Festivals are an integral part of India’s rich cultural heritage and Onam is one of them. It is a harvest festival and signifies the homecoming of the mythical demon King Mahabali. During the month of Chingam, the first month of the calendar, Malayalis all over the world celebrate this festival. Onam falls in between August and September every year and is regarded as the National Festival of Kerala.


Onam: Its History and Significance

As stated above, Onam is the festival that celebrates the homecoming of Mahabali. He was a demon but was known for his generosity and kindness. In this festival, people make Pookalam. It is a carpet made out of flowers which people put in front of their house to welcome “Mahabali”. People perform several rituals- Puli Kali, Kazhcha Kula, Onappottan, and so on. These rituals are followed by a grand feast called “Sadhya”. People get together, wear new clothes and enjoy flavourful delicacies served on banana leaves along with a cup of Payasam during Onam. They perform traditional dance and music and play various games. On roads, people take out grand elephant processions. The 10 days of the festival are called Atham, Chithira, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradom, and Thiruvonam.  During this festival, people keep adding layers of flowers to the Pookkalam every day. They also make several designs with flowers. People use their imagination and get creative with the Pookkalam. This is such a popular and interesting ritual that in some places, it is also held as a competition. On the tenth and the last day of the festival, that is, Thiruvonam, a lavish meal or Onam Sadya is cooked by every household and served on banana leaves. This is a nine-course meal comprising a minimum of five vegetable dishes including rasam, sambhar, mor curry, thoram, etc. 


Some families even cook nine to 13 dishes on this special occasion! And that is not it. There are restaurants, which serve their customers as many as 30 different dishes on Thiruvonam! Many unique games known as Onakalikal are played on this day too. A game of ball known as Talappanthukali is quite popular among men besides archery and Ambeyyal. Women, on the other hand, make Pookkalam and perform several traditional dances. 


Another interesting part of Onam is the snake boat race. It is also known as the Vallamkali Boat Race where almost 100 boatmen compete with each other. It is not merely a race but a tradition where boats are decorated beautifully. 


A Festival of Gaiety and Togetherness

Onam is one of the most awaited events of the year for Malayalis. And why only Malayalis! Thanks to the wonderful mixing of cultures today, people from different communities and states too, where there are a lot of Malayali settlements, take part in the celebrations. They get dressed up in Malayali attire- the women in Mundum neriyathum and men in kalli or kalli mundu and feast on delicious traditional dishes. This display of respect towards each other’s tradition adds to the gaiety and makes each and every festival of India a more special one.


Short Essay on Onam Festival in 150 Words

Onam is known as a symbol of Malayalam culture and tradition and it is also celebrated as tourism week. At the Onam festival, people buy new clothes, give each other gifts, and visit temples. The 10 days of Onam festival celebration includes cultural activities like Kummati kali, Pulikali, Atthachamayam, tug of war, and most interesting, the boat race. During the Onam celebration, traditional dances such as Kathakali, kumatti kali are performed.


The festival of Onam usually begins between the end of August and the start of September. The Onam festival is celebrated to welcome the mythical King Mahabali during the Malayalam month of Chingam.


The most interesting part of the Onam festival celebration is the Sadya, the lunch on Thiru Onam. Around 26 dishes are prepared and served on a plantain leaf. Attending Onam Sadya enables us to experience the culture of the state through its food. In many hotels in Kerala and outside the state, Onam feast is hosted. Onam comes only once a year, but its enthusiasm remains in the minds of the Malayalees until the next festi­val.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write 10 Lines that can be used in an essay on the topic Onam Festival in English

The following 10 lines can be used in an essay on the topic of Onam.


  • Onam is a harvest festival and is the state festival of Kerala.

  • Onam is celebrated at the end of August or at the beginning of September.

  • Onam is celebrated to welcome the homecoming of King Mahabali.

  • There are holidays for 10 days in Kerala during the Onam festival.

  • Onam is one of the most popular festivals celebrated each year in Kerala.

  • Boat races and tug of war are some of the popular events of this festival.

  • On the last day of Onam, people arrange a feast for their relatives which is known as Onam Sadhya.

  • People wear traditional dresses and celebrate this festival with full joy and enthusiasm.

  • A traditional dish called Payasam is prepared and served as Prasad at the Onam festival.

  • At the Onam festival, a carpet of flowers called ‘Pookalam’ is made. 

2. What is the story behind the festival Onam?

The festival of Onam has originated from the ancient times of Lord Vishnu. It is a belief that his spirit visits Kerala during the duration of Onam. One day, he transformed himself into a dwarf Brahmin, Vamana, and he went to attend the Yagam which King Mahabali was hosting in that avatar. Hence, Vamana made a request for 3 feet of land, and king Mahabali obliged for the same. Although, the dwarf started to grow bigger in size claiming the Earth and heaven. As the dwarf covered the whole land, sparing nothing, King Mahabali made an offer of his own head to keep his word. Then, he kept a condition that he would be allowed to visit people’s homes every year once. Therefore, the Onam festival is celebrated as King Mahabali’s homecoming.

3. What is the Onam festival all about?

Onam is a conspicuous celebration in Kerala. Onam is commended in the period of Chingam. This is the main month of the Malayalam schedule. It comes just in the month of August-September. It is celebrated by the people of Kerala to welcome the homecoming of King Mahabali, the grandson of Prahlad. In the second sun-based schedule, it is likewise called Simha month. As indicated by the Tamil schedule, it is also called Avni Mahina. Onam is the celebration when Thiruvonam falls in the star grouping Chingam month.

4. Where can I find the Onam Festival Essay in English?

Students and parents can find the Onam Festival Essay in English on IMP. IMP has provided the Onam Festival Essay in English in an easy-to-understand manner. With the help of IMP’s Onam Festival Essay in English, students from all classes will be able to improve their English reading skills as well writing skills. By referring to this, students will be able to write an essay on Onam Festival easily and in the best manner. IMP has also provided short essays of 150 words on the topic Onam Festival, 10 Lines on Onam Festival in English, and FAQs.

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