Onam is one of the greatest festivals of Kerala. It is the festival, which the Keralites celebrate unitedly without the difference of caste and religion. Onam is a time for sports and festivities and in Kerala where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes and backwaters; the people take to their boats and country crafts to celebrate. Colorful aquatic festivals are organized along the sacred river Pamba.
Onam is the most important harvest festival of Kerala and is an attraction for thousands of people within and outside the state. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered around worshiping, music, dances, sports, boat races and good food. It is celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam (ending of August and beginning of September). This year Onam 2012 falls on Wednesday, 29th of August.
Onam is a celebration of Ten days. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King Mahabali. There is competition for the laying of flower mats; Keralites all over the world celebrate these ten days with pomp and gaiety. They wear new dresses, visits almost all the temples they can, performs lot of dances like Thiruvathira kali and Thumbi Tullal and the most important thing is the grant lunch they have on the Thiuruvonam day which is also called the Fourth Onam. People of Kerela never miss the Grant lunch. A saying in Malayalam quotes "Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam" which means "We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties". They give that much importance to the lunch on the Thiruonam day.