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The Legend Of Onam
It is said that seeing the happiness and prosperity of the subjects of Mahabali, made Gods jealous and they asked Lord Vishnu to snatch his kingdom. The Gods were successful in convincing Vishnu, that Mahabali posed a threat to them and this led Vishnu to pay a visit to a king in the form of a dwarf Brahmin named Vamana. He then asked the king to donate him as much land for a living as could be measured by his three steps.
King Mahabali, promised to give Vamana the said land, although his Guru Shukracharya had already warned him about the plan of the Gods. On getting the assurance from the king, Vamana suddenly increased his size tremendously. He then took one step to measure the entire earth and with his next step he measured the heavens. With no place left for the Brahmin to take his third step, Mahabli offered him his own end, being well aware that it would cause his death. Impressed by the honesty and generosity of Mahabali, Lord Vishnu granted him the boon of being able to visit his people once every year and this is how the festival of Onam was started.
In addition the festivities are marked by the organization of elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, folk dance performance and musical concerts, to convince Mahabali about the well being and prosperity of his citizens.
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