The celebrations for the Onam festival commence with Athapookalam or the traditional floral carpet made in the front courtyard of the houses. It commences on the day of the Atham asterism, in the Malayalam month of Chingam and gets over on the tenth day, which is marked by the Thiruvonam asterism. It is a symbolic way to welcome the mythological King Mahabali, who is supposed to visit his subjects during the festival of Onam. An exquisite variety of flowers are gathered to make Pookalam.
During the festival season, competitions are held in Atha Pookalam or the traditional floral decoration, meant to great King Mahabali. The visual for the month has excerpts from one such competition, held in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.
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Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695 033
Phone: +91 471 2321132 Fax: +91 471 2322279.