The Onam look personifies a subtle elegance and the simplistic look is easy to ace. Since the colorful festival thrives on the elements of nature, the women and men are usually seen in simple attire and the makeup is kept minimal. Though the festival is celebrated in the state of Kerala, the look has found takers among non-Keralites as well.
Onam is the festival of new harvest, celebrated primarily in Kerala – “God’s own Country”. Legend has it, that it is a commemoration to welcome King Mahabali, a great and mighty ruler who was banished by Krishna. The state pays a 10 day tribute to its ruler who arrives to see the unity and abundance of resources of his land. He then retreats with an assurance that the land he once ruled is still blooming in prosperity. Flower arrangements, Kasavu sarees, festivities and Sadhya are things that come to mind when we speak of Onam. However, every element in the look has a strong bearing to the state of Kerala. The traditional look for the festival follows the white and gold theme which symbolises the elimination of negative energy from the face of the earth.
The celebrations of Onam go on for 10 days and include multiple events, commencing with Atthachamayam, a street parade with folk songs and dance, carnival floats and decorated elephants walking down the roads. The entrance of every home is adorned with Pookalam (flower carpet) to welcome King Mahabali, activities such as Pulikali (masked tiger dance), Vallamkali (snake boat race) and other traditional festivities are witnessed with aplomb. Onam Sadya, a nine-course traditional feast, is prepared on the 11th day to honour the return of the king and the next day, the clay pyramids representing the king called Onathappan are immersed in water and the pookalams are wiped out. The activities continue for one more day.
Take note from tips by JD International MakeUp Studio on how to be Onam ready:
A head full of flowers
Floral Hairstyle: Flowers are standard in Onam celebrations. One can style their hair in a bun or floral bun. This style is graceful and the trick is to make a simple bun and cover it entirely with gajra or flower garland. Or you could go easy with the full cover gajra and use a line of gajra around the bun, this is best if you are running short on time. The other styles that can be tried are open gajra, rather than adding the gajra around the bun just leave it open. If you do not like a bun, half tie your hair and pin a two-layered gajra at the back and is also an easy option if you are short on time. The flowers of choice are the fresh smelling Jasmine.
Drape yourself with the finery of the Kasavu Saree
The Kasavu saree or Kerala saree is an off-white or cream handloom traditional saree with golden border, usually worn during festive and religious occasions. Apart from cotton silk or cotton they are also available in pure silk. The Kasavu sarees are the preferred choice among the women in Kerala due to varied reasons. The off white and golden border bears a look of subtle elegance. The light weight fabric further provides comfort from the hot climate of the city especially during summers.
The kasavu saree has undergone changes and is also available in various modern designs to appeal to the modern women.
Gold jewellery is favoured during the festival as gold is considered auspicious and is also gifted by the elders to the young ones. To accent the traditional saree look, women wear long necklaces or small necklaces, heavy earrings, and bangles with intricate designs. The jewellery represents the South Indian gods and goddesses. It is believed that such traditional jewellery brings prosperity.
However, with changing times there is preference for diamonds and pearls instead of the traditional gold or light weight gold jewellery.
Achieve the Onam makeup:
Begin with clean skin. Use foundation that matches your skin and blend it using a makeup sponge. Next use the concealer under your eyes, on the bridge of your nose and areas on your face that have spots or blemishes. Make sure to blend well using a sponge or brush. Apply translucent powder using a makeup brush to set the base makeup. To achieve rosy hint to the cheeks, blush can be added to the cheek bones. Let your eyes speak: Eyes speak volume and the expressive feature is defined with the eyeliner and kajal. Ensure that the products used are smudge free and waterproof. Lipstick: Considering the fact that the subtle colour scheme of the outfit, it is important to pick a vibrant, dramatic lip colour like deep red or maroon. Or can continue the subtlety by using light coloured or nude shade lipsticks. Bindi: The look is incomplete without the affable bindi worn by the young and old alike. Chandan Balls: Chandan or sandalwood is placed just on top of the bindi.
Why should women have all the fun!
Onam style is not limited to just women; men are not to be left far behind. The look is simple, fuss free and easy to recreate. A simple shirt with various collar styles, mundu and the chandan tika on the forehead is all that is required to be Onam ready.
The Onam look is straight forward and requires very few products which are readily available at home. However, with changing times there has been an amalgamation of both the traditional and modern references that is rooted and yet finds appeal among a new well-heeled generation.
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