Major games played during Onam

Here is the list of games played during Onam festival in Kerala.. The following performances are amongst the various rituals, performed on the festive season of Onam by Malayalees every year.

Pulikali/Kaduvakali Performance

Pulikali is the most fascinating custom of Onam tradition. Onam performers paint themselves yellow with black and red strips on them just like tigers. This folk act magnificently portray the scenes of a tiger hunting for their pray. Udukku and Thakil are the main sources of Onam beats. Thrissur and Palghat are popular in Kerala for Onam performances.


South Malabar of Kerala is known for kummattikali, another contesting folk art. Wrinkled grass and wooden masks are the main attire for this cultural art. Kummattikali is being performed usually in the season of Onam. This act is very popular amongst kids. On the beat of Onavillu, various kinds of mythological stories are enacted in kummattikali.

Athapoovu Competitions

This folk tradition is basically centered on a decorative art form called Pookalam. Every year more than thousands of Pookalam designers participate in the competition, organized all over the state. Through their innovative designs, the artistry of the designers is unbarred every year.

Kaikottikali / Thiruvathirakali

Kaikottikali is also a part of the Onam tradition. It is basically a clap dance act performed by women around the Pookalam design. Through singing and dancing, performers praise the magnificent King Mahabali. It is a great experience to watch the dancers dancing around the lit bronze lamp called Nilavilakku wearing immemorial Kerala attires of gold bordered off-white Mundu-Neriyathu and embellished with fragrant gajras in their hair. The movements in the dance are really a wonder to witness during the evening hours.

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