Onam is famous festival in Kerala, India and marks the arrival of king Mahabali and the harvest of new crops.
About Onam festival:
Every festival has a history and so does this one. It is said that once a famous Asura (Demon) king named Mahabali used to rule on the earth. He was true follower of Lord Vishnu and was a great king. Due to his generosity the citizens of his kingdom were very happy with him and he was too popular on the earth. His increasing popularity soon became a concern for God Indra. Also King Mahabali’s weakness was that he was too egoistic.
All the other demigods went to the Lord Vishnu to seek a way in order to curb the popularity of the Mahabali because world cannot have two Indra and if it did, then it will lead to an imbalance in the world. So Vishnu changed into Vaman, the dwarf. He then visited King Mahabali and asked him for land that he could cover by his feet in three steps. Seeing that a small dwarf won’t cover an appreciable land, the king ordered to give the land. But then Lord Vishnu unfolded his indomitable size and grew so big that his one foot itself could cover the distance between heaven and Earth and back. Mahabali seeing that he could not be able to hold back his promise offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu relieved him out of his life.
But since he was the ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, he was given the boon that he will replace the god Indra in the next Yuga and can visit his kingdom every year. Onam is unique since Mahabali has been revered by the people of Kerala since prehistory.The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali that Onam is celebrated.
What to See on Onam:
Boat Ride Competition: