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ONAM The Festival of Kerala The Websters Dictionary defines a festival as a time or day of feasting and celebration Every one of us has experienced that feeling or atmosphere at some point in our lives Onam the festival of King Mahabali is one such experience Schools banks government offices are all closed during this period It is a time when families get together in one household At a time in India when the joint family system is breaking up everyone comes together in a way as a single entity Children look forward to these ten days of celebration and the expression of joy on their faces is difficult to describe in just words I never remember having had a sad moment during Onam Onam celebrates the mythical King Mahabali and his golden rule It welcomes the spirit of King Mahabali and assures him that his people or subjects are happy and wish him well The story says that the gods feared the wise and good rule of Mahabali the asura demon king thinking that he might become too powerful In many ways he is compared to King Solomon of the Bible The gods took the help of Lord Vishnu the preserver in the Hindu Trinity In the Hindu Trinity Lord Brahma is the creator Lord Vishnu the preserver and Lord Shiva the destroyer Lord Vishnu pushed King Mahabali to the nether world that is neither heaven nor hell Since King Mahabali was attached to his kingdom and loved by his subjects he was allowed by the gods to return once a year Onam is celebrated on the day when King Mahabali comes from exile to visit his kingdom and his people Onam is celebrated in the month of September though in some years based on the lunar calendar it takes place in August The festivities take place for ten days Ten days of feasting boat races songs and dance and this is just part
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