Tenth and the most important day of Onam festival is known as Thiru Onam or Tiru Onam. Words “Thiru” and “Tiru” refer to beautiful, sacred, holy, and auspicious all equivalent to ‘Sri’ in Hindi. Thiru Onam or Tiru Onam is the most significant of all to people of Kerala. People believe that on the tenth day that Lord Mahabali comes to visit his people.
Some scholars have observed that the name “Thiru Onam” is derived from the name” Sravanotsav”. The ‘Sra’ from Sravanotsav was removed and ‘vana’ was modified to ‘Onam’. In front of the word ‘Onam’, ‘Thiru’ was added as the asterism Sravana Onam is celebrated. This was sacred to Lord Vishnu.
There are elaborate preparations made for celebrating Thiru Onam in the grandest possible way. Early morning, people perform special prayers to invoke divine blessings. Women clean homes, and decorate Pookalam in front courtyard to welcome the spirit of King Maveli. This legendary King comes and visits every home in Kerala. He was very much appreciated by his people centuries after his golden reign.
A grand meal called Onasadya is also prepared. The spirit of King Maveli is given the impression that his people are happy. In addition, the people of Kerala wish the legendary King well. Evenings of the Thiru Onam are spent in playing games and indulging in cultural events. Dazzling display of ignited fireworks add to the fun of the fairs.