Kerala, situated in the South of India is known for its colorful festivals. It has a rich social and cultural structure and the festivals are an integral part of it. Festival time is the best time for one to plan their holidays in Kerala. Every community and every religion has something to celebrate throughout the year. But a festival that is celebrated by everybody, irrespective of caste and creed is the festival of Onam.
Onam is celebrated in the memory of the golden era of King Mahabali, who is believed to visit his kingdom at the time of Onam. A lot of sports, festivities and ritual celebrations happen during this period. As part of the celebrations colorful aquatic festivals are organized along the banks of the sacred river Pampa. This time of the year depicts abundance. After the heavy rains, the forests are a deep green and the river bodies are filled with water, spouting gentle white foam. The lakes are covered by lilies and lotuses that are in full bloom. The harvest is ready to be reaped and it is a time for rejoicing and celebration.
Within a fortnight of the Malayalam New Year, preparations begin for the festival and go on for ten days. Thiruonam, which is the last day, is the most important. The whole state looks colorful along with new clothes, traditional cuisine, dance and music. During this festival one can also witness the famous snake boat races at Aranmulla held on the banks of the river Pampa. One also gets to witness the vibrant procession of caparisoned elephants and the Kathakali performers enacting scenes from various epics and folk tales.