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6 Special Flowers for ‘Onam Pookalam’

M Kanika
M Kanika
Onam Pookalam
Onam Pookalam

The festival of Onam is incomplete without the Pookalam (also called as Pookolam). The term Pookalam or Pookolam is consisting of two words that are ‘Poo’ (Flower) & ‘Kolam’ (decorative pattern of a rangoli). The Malayalees are authorities in making the intricate patterns on the floor with fresh flowers & petals. According to the regional calendar, Malayalee people commemorate this 10-day celebration in the month of ‘Chingam’ on the 2nd Nakshatra Thiruvonam, which generally occurs between the months of August & September.

Significance of Pookalam

The intricate & multiple circles are drawn one within the other to make flower rangolis. The Pookalam are designed ahead of the Onam festivities at homes & public places to welcome the King Mahabali, the one who once ruled the region. According to the legend associated with Onam, King Mahabali visits his kingdom annually during the Onam as he was showered with boon by none other than the 5thAvatar of Lord Vishnu, Vamana.

Mahabali was then sent to the Patola Loka by Lord Vishnu after being tested for his devotion by Lord himself. However, later he was blessed with the boon, that permitted him to visit his kingdom only once during the whole year. Therefore, people welcome their king by decorating the streets & their homes with flowers. This flower Rangoli is known as the ‘Athapoo’ since it begins on the Attam, the first day of Onam & continues till the Thiruvonam, the last day of Onam.

Onam Pookalam is typically circular. The first day has one ring of Athapoo, and this will expand day by day, those rings symbolize gods & goddesses. The flowers are used for the Athappookalam are likewise unique, and of them are used to make rangoli. So, let’s look at many varieties of the flowers, which is utilized for the Onam Pookalam.

6 Flowers for Onam Pookalam

Jamanthi (Marigold or Chrysanthemum)

Jamanthi is also known as Marigold or Chrysanthemum, which comes in a variety of colors, it is important in the Athapookalam. It is available in yellow, red, and white & orange. This gives Pookalam a captivating appearance.

Shankupushpam (Butterfly Pea) 

Shankupushpam is also known as Butterfly Pea, it is a flower with a blue & yellow centre, is one of the most popular flowers, which is used in the Onam floral Rangoli. This flower may be found in nearly every area of the Kerala & it blooms magnificently during the time of Onam.

Chethi (Flame of the Woods) 

Chethi s also known as the Flame of Woods, it is a scarlet flower that gives Pookalam a vivid & magnificent appearance. It is one of the flowers for the Onam floral Rangoli that is rapidly accessible & adds the overall attractiveness of the rings.

Tulasi (Holy Basil)

Tulasi (Holy Basil) cannot be avoided during the Onam Pookalam. The green colour of tulasi brightens the flowery rangoli, while its scent calms the atmosphere

Chemparathy (Hibiscus or Shoe Flower) 

Chemparathy is also known as Hibiscus or Shoe Flower, it is a dark crimson flower, like Chethi. It adds brilliant touch to Onam floral carpet. It’s a fairly common flower that inhabitants of South India utilize for a variety of reasons.

Thumba (Ceylon Slitwort)

Thumba is also known as Ceylon Slitwort, it is a tiny white flower that is an essential component of the Onam Pookalam. Thumba is the only flower, which is used for the Onam Pookalam on Attam, (the first day of Onam).

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