At AFS, VSN we’re always waiting for festive occasions to celebrate with our kids. In a multicultural and cosmopolitan society, festivals provide the perfect opportunity for kids to understand and develop respect for other cultures and religions. And the past two weeks have been very generous, giving us two back to back festivals- Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam for our kids to revel in.
One of the most creative Onam celebration ideas is making the traditional pookkalam or the floral carpet. The creation of a basic design begins with taking powdered rice and making designs with it. It might be difficult for the child to control the designs with rice, so the best way to teach kids is to allow them to draw one with a piece of chalk then using different flowers to get diverse colors.
This is similar to the way a Rangoli is made in Northern India.
The children were told the significance and the legend of Onam. Onam is dedicated to the Asura King Mahabali. It is said that Kerala never witnessed a better reign than that during the rule of King Mahabali. He was the most just king ever. Thus he was blessed by the Gods to be remembered by the people of Kerala and all his followers eternally as Onam.They were also told about snake boat race and were made to act rowing along with the traditional aarppo-irro clarion calls. Together with the teachers, the children decorated the Pookalam (Rangoli) with fresh flower petals and leaves. Diyas were lit and placed upon the Poolakalam, giving an almost spiritual ambience to the occasion.