Onam is the most celebrated and crowd gathering festival for KANE with more than 1000 men and women dressed in traditional kerala style(Mundu, shirt, set saree).
To answer “What is Onam,” it is the greatest festival of Kerala since legendary times, celebrated with zeal by Malayalees irrespective of their religion in the state as well as abroad. The peculiarity about Onam is the fun and fervor and the beautiful tapestry of rituals and traditions involved. The festival historically lasted for 28 days in the month of Leo according to the Indian zodiac. Thiruvonam or the 10th day of Onam is the most important day in the festival. KANE celebrates Onam with every year with lot of mouth watering and fun activities. The following are some of the activities that you can take part in:
Attam is the star day when the Onam celebration begins. On this day, people create a floral rangoli called Pookkalam at their entranceway using many different flowers. It is not just done in homes but also in offices and educational institutions. There are even Pookkalam competitions where people compete for the best Pookkalam design. Simple to intricate designs are used with flowers such as marigold, roses, jasmine, hibiscus etc. in addition to materials like saw dust to build the foundation.
Kaikotti kali also known as Thiruvathira kali is a truly indigenous dance form of Kerala and is performed by women dressed in white sari called Set and gold jewelry around a “Deepam”, which is a traditional Kerala lamp. It is usually performed in a group of 8 to 12 women. Another form of dance practiced here during this time is the 'Pulikali' or 'Kaduvakali' where men paint themselves like tigers in bright yellow, red and black colors and dance ferociously to the music of 'udukku' and 'thakil'.
Onam games are very varied and offer wide variety of entertainment. The outdoor games that are popular are 'Talappanthukali' (ball game), 'Kayyankali' (one-to-one unarmed fight between men), 'Attakalam' (fight between men in groups), Ambeyyal (archery) and 'Kutu Kutu' (Kabaddi). 'Kummattikali' is another game played typically by men where they clad themselves with attire made by using plaited grass and a big wooden mask.
Every year KANE cooks sadhya with 16 side-dishes. We have a great leadership under Mr. Vaidyanathan Iyer for preparing and serving sadhya for a head count of more than 1000 every year. Our lip-smacking feast is enjoyed by many every year and is called "Onam Sadya" is the prominent part of this India festival. Mostly the meals are vegetarian but non-veg items are also prepared. The elaborate Sadya consists of brown rice and three main curries with many side dishes. In addition, there is melt-in-the mouth payasam served at the end of the feast. It is a belief that every Malayalee should eat Onam feast no matter what he or she has to sell to do it.