Onakkodi (new garments for the festival) is an unavoidable part of Onam celebrations. Wearing new clothes and gifting Onakkodi to your loved ones is an essential part of the Onam traditions. It is believed that one should wear new clothes and dress up for welcoming erstwhile king Mahabali.
Gifting Onakkodi is just as important as making the Pookkalam. It is usual in South Kerala to gift Onakkodi to close relatives. A good sum of money is saved for this purpose as well. Earlier new clothes were bought only during the season of Onam. After the scarcity of the Karkidakam month, it is believed that the month of Onam bought prosperity along with it. But although the times have changed now, Malayalees love to wear the traditional Kasavu during Onam. It is also during these times that Kasavu sarees and Mundus are sold highly. There are endless designs available in Kasavu sarees for women and Mundu with matching shirts for men.
The Balaramapuram Handloom is known for its Kasavu sarees, especially the Shaliyar street, where one can buy the original Kasavu fabric as per our needs. The Chendamangalam handloom, which has more than a century’s history, is also notable for its Kasavu sarees. Kannur is Kerala’s Manchester and the prime centre for handloom in the state. Sales worth almost Rs 400 crores were done in a year. Even when machines ruled the industry, Kannur handlooms were much preferred during the Onam season. Kasargod sarees are noteworthy among these which is believed to shine brighter with every wash. The Onam saree has even secured a place on the World Heritage List for its unparalleled craftsmanship.
Onam is also the season when all the textiles, markets, malls etc make the most of their sales through discounts and offers. All the hopes of the business for the year for these salesmen depends on the Onam sale. The online markets have also affected the trade prospects of the Onam sale post-Covid.