Onam is the most biggest festival in Kerala. It is the Festival of Kerala with State holidays for 4 days starting from Onam Eve (Uthradom) to the 4rd Onam Day. All religions and communities celebrate Onam with equal enthusiasm (उत्साह – Utsah). Onam Festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King. Onam is a reminiscent of Kerala’s agrarian past, as its considered to be harvest festival (त्योहार – Tyohar).
One of Kerala’s popular attractions is its delicious Kerala cuisine (भोजन – Bhojan). Kerala recipes are well known worldwide for it’s spicy nature. Kerala cuisine offers a multitude of dishes (व्यंजन – Vyanjan), ranging from the traditional sadya to seafood delicacies. Rice (चावल – Chawal) and cassava (Tapioca) form the staple food of Kerala. All main dishes are made with them and served along with Kootan; the side dishes which may be made from vegetables, meat, fish (मछली – Machali) or a mix of all of them. The main dish for lunch and dinner is boiled rice.
People of the south of India are easily recognizable from those in north. The people in the east (पूर्व – Purv) and west (पश्चिम – Pachim) of India have equally varied ways of dressing. However the four states in south of India namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have a common way of dressing.
Kerala has a rich cultural heritage. Its diverse culture is influenced by three main religions of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Exquisite sculptures, music and dance forms can be seen in the historic development of Kerala’s cultural traditions. The traditions of Kathakali (कथाकली) and Mohiniyattam are highly developed art forms that have developed from their folk origins into highly evolved classical (शास्त्रीय – Shastriya) dance forms.