The peparations for receiving Mahabali, the demon king, the embodiment of justice and loyalty, on the Thiruvonam day, starts ten days in advance on an auspicious day called ‘atham’. We start this day by preparing ‘atha chamayam’, flower patterns, using different colours and varieties of flowers and leaves. Normally, it is arranged on a platform on the ground specially made for it. Plastering the prepared floor with cowdung, the flowers are designed in a very attractive and beautiful patterns on all these days.
Children and youth, both girls and boys, getting up early in the morning to collect flowers from different places, prepare ‘atham’ either in front of their houses or on the prepared platform. These days, there are competitions for this to add more energy and vigorousness to this celebration. In the evenings, the members and other relatives of the families assembling before the ‘atham’ sing folk songs to receive onam.
On the Thirivonam day evening, there is big celebration. For this, special attention is given to everything. There will be bigger flower patterns to get more attraction, the ‘atham’ is decorated with different flower patterns and colours. Singing songs and dancing ‘thiruvathira’ a special dance form, played by women only, are the other a few programmes on this day.
To celebrate Onam, on the Thiruvonam day, everyone will be in their new clothes. Visiting the temples in the morning, they celebrate this festival by enjoying a sumptuous meal, ‘Onam Sadhya’ at noon.