Celebrating Onam and Onam Crafts

Onam Crafts
     Hi friends, today is a very important festival for us Malayalees[aka Keralites who are from the South Indian State of Kerala]! It's our Onam!

I love reading about festivals and traditions of different cultures and thought maybe you my crafty friends  would find it interesting too  so sharing a few titbits about Onam but from a personal point!
Here are 2 earlier blog-posts about Kerala and Onam
Kerala Diorama School Project
Onam Festival School Project
     Onam falls in August-September and in my home state of Kerala, festivities last a good ten days! The special thing about it unlike other festivals is that all Keralites celebrate it regardless of their religious beliefs and it is a festival that encourages family and community bonding in a big way!
         Buying new clothes  and putting Pookalams[ floral carpets] in front of the house are part of the fun of Onam! If you visit Kerala during Onam you will see beautiful Pookalams in every nook and corner!
         I have such fond memories of going flower picking with my cousins ,aunts and uncles in my childhood and helping to make Pookalams in front of the house!
         When I started a family of my own , though I married a non Keralite, I kept the tradition alive.
Onam Celebration!
        When my daughter was young our Pookalam didnt last very long as she had more fun sitting on the floral carpets and strewing flower petals all over!!
Onam Pookalam
When she grew older, she enthusiastically helped to create the Pookalam than take it apart!! Amen!!       
Onam is special for one more thing....families love to get together and you will find Keralites from all over the world packing their bags to visit home or yearning for home!! In the picture , you can see my mom with her helper...my daughter in her toddler years!
Onam Pookalam
You can traditionally  put these beautiful floral carpets on all 10 days of the Onam celebrations but most city folk like myself can manage to make a Pookalam only on Thiruvonam...the  main festive day of  Onam!
Onam Craft- Pookalam
When we shifted from a flat to a house......Onam was sooo much more fun as we had flowering plants growing in our home and we didn't have to use store bought flowers!
Pookalam Preparation
And we actually had a porch for our Pookalam !!

And that is us...my mum , myself and my kiddo putting our Pookalam! This was taken last year and you can also see my dogs trying to help!
Onam Celebration
I cant show you this year's Pookalam as my camera's battery had run out of charge! But I do have photos of some special Onam crafts!
Along with the Pookalams,a popular symbol of Onam is a  tall pyramidal structure called " Onathappan " or Thrikakkara Appan" which is placed beside the Pookalam. I made this one from air drying natural clay!
Onam Crafts - Kathakali
        I also made clay "Kathakali" figure heads for Onam! Kathakali is a spectacular dance form  of Kerala  where the dancers paint their faces in elaborate style and wear beautiful costumes!
        For both my Indian and foreign friends....if you ever get a chance to see a live Kathakali dance ....don't miss it ...it is simple amazing!
Onam Crafts - Clay Kathakali
I made my Kathakali heads using a mold and air drying clay and painted them with acrylic paints...which was quite tricky as these are just around 2 inches only!
I made some of these into pendants and some into fridge magnets!
Onam Crafts - Kathakali
I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading a bit about our Onam!!
And here is wishing all my Malayalee friends a Happy Onam!


  1. Absolutely fascinating Sonya, thank you so much for enlightening us on the tradition, they are so important I believe to keep up if possible. I LOVE your Athapookalam, so delicate and so beautiful. I love your Onam Crafts - Kathakali, so much detail even though they are so small.
    Thank you and enjoy yourself with your family.

  2. Lovely Pookolams and kathakali heads...loved them all. Thanks for sharing Dr.Sonia.

  3. Happy Onam dearest Sonia to you and the whole family...pl convey my Onam greetings to your Mom too. great reading about the festival, happy that you shared all those pics !!

  4. Happy Onam Sonia. Kathakali head, its really super craft... Proud to be a Malayali

  5. happy to note & read our tradition and love to kiddo with flowers

  6. What a wonderful festival! Your explanation of it makes me want to come and join in to see the gorgeous floral carpets and all the other fabulous decorations. It's so lovely to hear a community coming together to celebrate whatever their religion. I loved seeing pictures of Prisha 'helping' with the flowers :D. Happy Onam! Debra x

  7. Thank you for a wonderful post Sonia, I am always interested in hearing about the traditions across the world, not to mention the beautiful colours and artistry you have shared today.

    B x

  8. These are FABULOUS! Those rugs are just gorgeous!!!!!!!!

  9. Happy Onam to you and your family doc. Love all the Onam crafts.

  10. Happy Onam! Sounds like a wonderful festival and great family tradition!! The decorations are amazing! I love the Athapookalam is just gorgeous!!
    Thanks for sharing~
    enjoy your day!
    Sherrie K

  11. Wow! What an elaborate & well written post, Dr.Sonia. It was so good to know a bit more about Onam. Love the pookalam's you made in the previous years & those mini Kathakali figure heads..You have painted them so intricately ..Wishing you & your family a very Happy Onam! :)

  12. Happy Onam!
    this is very pretty celebrations!
    very nice photos!

  13. What a fantastic tradition Sonia.. beautiful photos...Loz

  14. I really enjoy reading this post.Such a wonderful tradition. Thanks for sharing it!!Such beautiful creations!!
    Have a wonderful day,
    Crafting With Creative M

  15. Thank you for sharing about your tradition of Onam. Your decorations are lovely and the floral carpets are gorgeous! Happy Onam!

  16. Oh wow, what a fabulous post, Sonia!! I loved reading about Onam!! It sounds like such a beautiful, wonderful tradition!! The floral carpets are amazing!! And what beautiful pictures!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! Enjoy your celebrations my friend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  17. Thank you for sharing you pictures and explaining about Onam. It's a festival I've never heard of before, but your post was so interesting. I hope you've enjoyed celebrating this special time with your family. xx

  18. Ok first of alla BIGGG THANK YOU for sharing all those beautiful photos adnt letting us knoww all about your ONAM celebration!! I wish that we have something like that it is beautifull, lots of coloures but most important and the bigest thing that I like in thise festivity is that FAMMILY is together, and that is the realy biggest and most wonderfull in wholle celebration :) Afcourse the flauwers and lots of coloures, that I love about India!!
    ♥Hugs Valentina♥

  19. Fabulous post Sonia and a lovely tradition..colourful and beautiful..you look like your Mum too..lovely photos.

    Luv CHRISSYxx

  20. How wonderful to be able to view and learn about other cultures! I love this and what beautiful, colorful and fun photos you've shared with us my friend! HUGS

  21. Amazing makes! I love reading of your traditions and seeing your family that makes these Onam floral carpets, they are just wonderful! We also in Italy have a day of floral carpets in ours religious tradition, we called it "Infiorata" and make a very big carpets on a street :) But our floral carpet is too much expensive for the towns, so this tradition is coming out.
    Love your floral carpets so much, they feel as "mandala"!
    And I can't image the Kathakali dance, but I'm sure that is just wonderful as you say!
    Happy Onam celebrations!

  22. A fascinating read. Your flower carpet looks amazing. The colours are so vibrant. Not so much colour left in our English garden now but we do still have butterflies flitting on and around the remaining flowers. hugs Mrs A.

  23. I am aware of the festival but did not know these small details about it. Thanks for sharing. The Pookalam is just mind blowing.

  24. Oh, it is a beautiful festival! I loved the petals decorations, like rangoli but with flowers. By the way, oh my, your mom looks gorgeous and so young!!:)))
    Happy festival!

  25. I too loved reading about different festivals.Enjoyed reading about onam celebrations and see prisha's childhood pics.I am late in wishing you ,hope you had wonderful celebration and enjoyed the onam sadhya !

  26. Loved read about your Onam celebration. Hope you had a wonderful celebration.

  27. Lovely ! thats an amazing post on onam and lovely creations !

  28. So interesting and thanks for sharing. Love the patterns you created with the flowers, just beautiful and fun watching your daughter grow through each year.

  29. my bestThank you for sharing your Onam celebrations. My friends have travelled to India twice and on their last trip they shared pictures of flower patterns on the doorstoops of the houses.
    They did not know why and so I will share your post with her...it sounds the same as what she saw and she will love to here the reason for it!

    Yours are very beautiful!


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