New Delhi: Onam is a harvest festival that is celebrated by Kerela’s Malyalee people. Onam starts on the 22nd Nakshatra Thiruvonam, in the month of Chingam and lasts for 10 days. The festival marks the return of King Mahabali to Kerala each year during this time.
Numerous fun activities like Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Pookkalam (flower Rangoli), Onathappan (worship), Pookalam take place during these 10 days.
The flower rangoli made during the festival is called Onam Pookalam and is generally circular. Onam Pookalam is also known as ‘Athapoo’ as it begins on Attam, the first day of Onam, and continues till Thiruonam, the last day.
Below are the flowers that are used for making Onam Pookalam.
Tulasi: Tulasi is not a flower but its leaves are used in making Pookalam and cannot be avoided.
Thumba or Ceylon Slitwort: These tiny white flowers are used on the first day of Attam while making Pookalam.
Chethi: also known as flame of woods are red colour flowers that add brightness and visual appeal of Pookalam.
Chemparathy: or hibiscus is also a red colour flower that is used in making Pookalam.
Shankupushpam: also known as butterfly pea is a popular flower with a blue and yellow centre, easily found in the state of Kerala.
Jamanthi or marigold: These flowers are available in yellow, red, white and orange colours and add vibrancy to Pookalam.