Celebrating the harvest festival of Onam

Rosetta Binu, LJMU Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Allied Health and our LJMU Equality team explain what the festival of Onam is, and how it is celebrated

Onam 2022 web banner

What is Onam?

Onam is a festival celebrated by Hindus in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Also known as the harvest festival, it brings together all communities irrespective of religion caste, or creed in a state of happiness, excitement, and enjoyment.


When is Onam?

This year Onam begins on 30 August and lasts ten days during the Malayalam month of Chingham, ending with the most important day: Thiruvonam. Thiruvonam this year falls on the 8 September when legend says King Mahabali visits. 

King Mahabali ruled Kerala during its golden age where prosperous agriculture and almost no poverty existed.  This also coincides with the other main cause for celebrating Onam which is to mark the end of monsoons and welcome the harvest season.

Rosettas family celebrate onam

LJMU Senior Lecturer, Rosetta Binu's family celebrating Onam.

How is Onam celebrated?

During these ten days of celebration, you'll see floral arrangements laid on the floor created by children as a way to welcome King Mahabali, various boat races, plus lots of song and dance across the southern state of Kerala. Families will also clean their houses and prepare the dish Onam Sadhya, a vegetarian dish which has nearly 30 varieties of curry and delicacies, served on a traditional banana leaf. 

Here at LJMU, we celebrate the diversity of all our staff and students. If you'd like to let our LJMU community know about an important festival or religious date that you'll be celebrating, contact: equality@ljmu.ac.uk 






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