Tuesday 29 August 2023

SIGNIFICANCE OF STARS IN THE ONAM FESTIVAL



There are about 27 stars or Nakshatras as they are called in Sanskrit.  The date and the time of the Nakshatras are based on the planetary movements.  Calendars or Almanac help people to know about the date, days, stars, yoga and karana (Panchangam).  Basing on these the date and day of the festivals are decided. Here let us know the importance of the stars in the Onam festival:

The word Onam is originated from the Sanskrit word Shravanam which refers to one of the 27 Nakshatras or constellations.
Onam, a lively and joyful festival in Kerala, is celebrated with two main names – Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam and Sravanmahotsav or Sravanotsavam. These titles represent the tenth day of Onam celebrations.
The date of Onam celebration is based on the Panchangam, and falls on the 22nd nakshatra Thiruvonam in the month Chingam of Malayalam calendar, which in Gregorian calendar falls between August–September.
Onam lasts for ten days and each day holds a lot of significance. The first day is called Atham, followed by Chithira, Chodi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketta, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradom and Thiruvonam. Thiruvonam is the most auspicious day of the 10-day-long festivities as it marks the end of Onam celebrations.
The first day begins on the day of Avittam nakshatram  which is called Atham and all the days progress according to the stars of each day. The final day of the festival falls on the day of Sravana nakshatram.
The Atham day is marked with the start of festivities at Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara temple (Kochi). This Vishnu temple is considered as the focal centre of Onam and the abode of Mahabali, with the raising of the festival flag.
The Thrikkara temple stands at the place where Vamana is said to have sent Mahabali to the underworld, Patala . The temple complex. is set in a courtyard with four entrances.  
Situated in Ernakulam district, Thrikkakara Temple attracts pilgrims because of its mythical association with the harvest festival of Kerala, Onam. The temple is famous for the beautiful engravings on the walls of its sanctum sanctorum. These depict traditional Onam celebrations dating back to nearly 2500 years.
A clay pyramid structure with four faces and a flat top used during Onam celebrations symbolizes Thrikkakara Appan or Thrikakkarappan. This unique structure represents Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Shravana Nakshatra is known by many names, such as Sravana, Shravan, or Thiruvonam. It is the 22nd Nakshatra in the list of 27 Nakshatras. Shravana Nakshatra is spread across the Makara Rashi or the Capricorn zodiac sign, and the creator, Lord Vishnu is the ruler.
Uthradam, often referred to as "First Onam," is characterized by a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation. This day is when the elaborate preparations for the grand Thiruvonam celebrations begin in earnest.
A few of the characteristics of those born under the Thiruvonam star are that they are prosperous, much learned and intelligent generally. They are much interested in the fields of music, astrology and mathematics.
Thiruvonam, the last day, is the most auspicious day as it marks the end of the Onam celebrations, and families prepare and enjoy Onasadya, the opulent Onam feast.

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