According to the Malayalam calendar,Chingam is the first month of the year.Today,the first day of the month marks the beginning of the New Year,locally referred to as Andu Pirappu
Chingam marks the advent of spring after the rain-filled season of Karkidakam.People of Kerala welcome this month to usher in the harvest season.Hence particularly auspicious for farmers.Onam,one of the most popular festivals of Kerala,is celebrated in this month,which falls in August-Septemer.It is believed that in olden times the whole of Chingam month was observed as the Onam season.
I,like any malayali,feel very festive and positive during the entire period.I remember how,I used to look forward to the festivities around me.How in school,I used to wait for the after class practice sessions for Onam celebrations!How I used to wait for those umpteen TV shows which showed me glimpses of festive Kerala and made me yearn to go there just to witness it myself!Not to mention the grandiose feast,the Ona-sadya which my Amma and Ammamma would prepare for us!
Ah!those were the days!
So,heres wishing you all,especially my fellow malayalis,a Happy New Year!May the year bring us all joy,happiness & prosperity.
EDITED TO ADD:Regarding the virtual Ona Sadya,those of you who are willing to share a recipe of your choice,it will be nice if you would specify the dish that you’ll be sharing on your page,beforehand like Crafty offered to share her mom’s Inji-pulli recipe on the comment-thread.I can share the recipe for Sambhar or Avial or both.
This way,I think we can avoid repetition of recipes and confusion thereby!