The biggest festival in Kerala, Onam, is celebrated over a span of ten days and the main highlight is the grand feast known as the ‘Onam Sadhya’. It is a harvest festival that is celebrated with enthusiasm and fervour, characterised by elaborate flower arrangements, feasts, dance performances, and various cultural activities.
The most iconic tradition associated with Onam is the creation of the ‘Pookalam,’ a stunning floral rangoli made from an array of vibrant and colorful flowers. Each day, the Pookalam becomes larger and more intricate, symbolizing the welcoming of King Mahabali.
The festival also marks the beginning of the Malayalam year, called Kolla Varsham and is celebrated in the month of Chingam, which falls in August or September in the Gregorian calendar.
A vegetarian Onam Sadhya feast is served on banana leaves and consists of a variety of dishes, typically including rice, sambar, avial (a mixed vegetable curry), thoran (stir-fried vegetables), and payasam (a sweet dessert). The Sadhya is a testament to the agrarian roots of the festival, as it features ingredients harvested during the season.
The festival is believed to commemorate the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali, who is revered as a just and benevolent ruler. It begins on Atham, which was August 20 this year, and continues till Thiruvonam (August 29), the most important day of the festival.
On Thiruvonam, it is believed that on this day the legendary King Mahabali the son of Veerochana and grandson of Prahlad, returns to Kerala from the underworld to visit his people.
Cultural performances like the ‘Pulikali’ (tiger dance), ‘Thiruvathira Kali’ (a traditional dance performed by women), and ‘Vallamkali’ (snake boat race) are also an integral part of Onam celebrations. These performances infuse the festival with a sense of vitality and cultural pride, fostering a deep connection between generations and promoting communal harmony.
In Delhi, there are a list of places that offer the Onam Sadhya feast and here is a look at them:
Sana di ge: Located in Chankyapuri, the platter here costs Rs 1399 for two people and the offer begins from August 28 and ends on August 31. The timings are 12:30pm till 3pm for lunch and 7 – 10:30 pm for dinner.
Zambar: Tucked in Malviya Nagar, an Onam Sadhya will cost Rs 1400 between August 28-30 within a twelve-hour window starting from 11 am to 11 pm.
Savya Rasa: Located in DLF Avenue in Saket, revellers can enjoy Onam Sadhya at Rs 2500, which is for two people. The offers will be applicable from August 26 to August 30 between 12 noon till 11pm.
Mahabelly: The Saket-based restaurant is prepared to celebrate Onam with their amazing Onam Sadhya delicacies. Here, Onam Sadhya will be available during dinner on August 28 and both lunch and dinner on August 29 and 31. The Onam Sadhya experience will cost Rs 1350 for two persons.
Padmanabhan: As many as 22 different traditional vegetarian dishes will be served to all guests on a banana leaf for a price of Rs 784 for two people from August 27 to 29 from 12:30 pm to 9 pm