Ari at Onam Festival
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is my daughter Ariana. We recently attended a multicultural function and the theme was "Onam". Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in modern times. Kerala's rice harvest festival and the festival of rain flowers, which fell on the Malayalam month of Chingam, celebrated the Demon King Mahabali's annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali has been revered by the people of Kerala since prehistory.|
According to the legend, Kerala witnessed its golden era during the reign of King Mahabali. Everybody in the state was happy and prosperous and the king was highly regarded by his subjects, so much so that even the gods under Indra became jealous of Mahabali, and they approached Vishnu claiming that Mahabali is now equivalent to an Indra. Since a world with two Indras represents imbalance, Vishnu assumed the form of a dwarf: Vamana had tricked him to Patala. However, as Mahabali was equivalent to an Indra, he had to wait until the next Yuga where he would be the Indra. In the meantime, with the grace of Vishnu, Mahabali visited his people on an annual basis. Vishnu served Mahabali as a gatekeeper in Patala as the Lord himself serves his greatest devotees.
It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.
The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten-day festival. The central feature of Onam is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine-course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.
Another popular feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the Pamba River, in which decorative boats oared by hundreds of boatmen race amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators and viewers.
There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with a ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of the house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations.
Mahabali's rule is considered the golden era of Kerala. The following song is often sung over Onam:
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Bom dia Dilshan
Beautiful portrait of a beautiful and healthy girl attired for the festival.
- [2011-09-28 5:15]
A good portrait of your daughter with warm colors & reasonable sharpness. Good dof too. Tfs!
Beautiful girl Dilshan! YOu've really composed this perfectly in my opinion. The vivid colors are fantastic, and nice use of shallow DOF. A great keepsake photo of your daughter!! :)
- [2011-09-28 6:28]
A beautiful girl's portrait in this Oriental style. Splendid lighting reflecting on these colorful ornaments enclosing the beautiful girl's face. Great light and impeccable sharpness.
My best regards,
What a wonderful portrait from your cute daughter in such traditional colorful atmosphere, Dilshan!
Great focus and wonderful use of the light with amazing exposure.
A superb portrait!