Onam festival is celebrated with great splendor and joy in Kerala state, which is located in the southernmost state of India. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the return of Bali to earth from Patala. King Bali was the man of his word, and he gave up all the land that he had conquered. He was then banished to Patala. Onam is a colorful festival celebrated by Malayalees all over the world.
Onam is the state festival of Kerala. Pookkalam, the floral decoration (also known as floral carpet) is one of the most important parts of Onam, which is also a harvest festival. Simple as well as intricate floral designs are laid at the verandah of every household, on the wonderful occasion of Onam.
However, like any other festival, Onam is also losing its vigor now. The enthusiastic children collecting flowers from the village gardens are now nowhere to be seen. Instead, flowers available in shops have become the choice of every Malayalee.
Making of Pookalam
Huge quantities of flowers, days of dedicated artistic skill and undiluted team spirit lay the foundation of such brilliant Pookalam.
The most popular shape of Athapoovu is round, generally having a diameter of four to five metres and the petals of multi hued flowers and leaves are used to form the many layers of this wonderful art. Coloured powders, artificial flowers and dry coconuts are banned from these arrangements. These pookalams are usually made on the courtyard facing the house with the statues of Mahabali and Lord Vishnu in the centre.