When is Onam in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020?
Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of the solar Malayalam calendar (Kollavarsham). It falls in August or September every year. There are 10 days of before Thiru Onam. The most important day of Onam (known as Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam, meaning "Sacred Onam Day") is the second day.
In 2016, Thiruvonam is on September 14th.
In 2017, Thiruvonam is on September 4th.
In 2018, Thiruvonam is on August 24th.
In 2019, Thiruvonam is on September 11th.
In 2020, Thiruvonam is on August 31st.
Onam 2016 Dates Detailed Information
Festivities actually begin 10 days before Thiru Onam or Thiruvonam, on Atham. As per the Malayalam calendar, the dates for 2016 and their significance are as follows:
Atham (September 4, 2016) -- is when mythical King Mahabali is believed to have started preparing to come back and visit his kingdom. People take a bath in early in the morning, followed by prayers, and the making of floral arrangements (pookalam) on the ground in front of homes to welcome him. Traditionally, the pookalams are completed with ten rings, each denoting a Hindu god. The colors are chosen to please each god, and only yellow flowers are used on Atham for the first layer of the pookalam. A grand parade, Athachamyam, marks the start of Onam celebrations near Kochi.
Chithira (September 5, 2016) -- two more layers are added to the pookalams, using orange and creamy yellow flowers. People also visit temples to seek blessings.
Chodhi (September 6, 2016) -- is a purchasing day that marks the start of shopping for Onam. People start to buying new clothes, jewelry, and many gifts to their relatives.
Vishakham (September 7, 2016) -- housewives visit the markets to stock up on ingredients to make the Onam meal. Markets traditionally used to hold their harvest sale on this day, making it a popular day for shopping. Pookalam design contests also commence across Kerala on his day.
Anizham (September 8, 2016) -- snake boat races kick-off across the state. A mock race is held at Aranmula as a preparation for the race that's held there after the main day of Onam.
Thriketa (September 9-10, 2016) -- people start visiting their families and fresh flowers continue to be added to pookalams.
Moolam (September 11, 2016) -- the state is beautifully decorated.
First Onam/Uthradom (September 13, 2016) -- King Mahabali is assumed to arrive in Kerala on this day. It's a happy occasion when people rush to complete their Onam shopping and the cleaning of their homes. It's recognized to be an auspicious day for buying fresh fruit and vegetables.
Second Onam/Thiruvonam (September 14, 2016) -- the main Onam celebrations occur on this day when King Mahabali is said to visit people's homes. Homes are spic and span, finished pookalams are elaborate, new clothes are worn, and families gather to enjoy an elaborate vegetarian feast known as the Onam Sadya or Onasadya.
Third Onam/Avvittom (September 15, 2016) -- preparations are undertaken for King Mahabali's leaving. Onathappan statues are immersed in the sea or river, and pookalams are cleared and removed.
Fourth Onam/Chatayam (September 16, 2016) -- post-Onam celebrations continue for the next couple of days with snake boat races, Pulikkali tiger play, and Kerala Tourism's Onam Week program.