Chingam 1, 2023 Date: History, Rituals, Celebrations of Malayalam New Year and Onam Traditions in Kerala

Malayalam New Year 2023

Malayalam New Year 2023


Malayalam New Year 2023: Chingam 1, also known as Chingam Month or Chingam Masam, is the first day of the traditional Malayalam calendar used in Kerala.

MALAYALAM NEW YEAR 2023: Chingam 1, also known as Chingam Month or Chingam Masam, is the first day of the traditional Malayalam calendar used in Kerala. Chingam 1 marks the beginning of the new Kolla Varsham, which is the Malayalam New Year. The specific date of Chingam 1 varies every year because the Malayalam calendar is based on the solar calendar system. This year it falls on August 17.


Chingam 1 marks the beginning of the harvest season in Kerala and is considered an auspicious day. It is also the day when the mythical King Mahabali is believed to visit his kingdom, leading to the celebration of Onam, one of the most important festivals in Kerala.


1. Pookkalam

People create intricate and colorful flower arrangements called "pookkalam" (flower carpets) in front of their homes to welcome King Mahabali. Every day during the ten-day Onam festival, the pookkalam becomes more elaborate.

2. Onam Sadya

A big traditional feast called "Onam Sadya" is prepared and served on banana leaves. It includes a variety of vegetarian dishes and is an integral part of the celebration.

3. Pulikali

In some regions, a unique folk art form called "Pulikali" is performed. Participants paint themselves as tigers and dance through the streets.

4. Vallam Kali (Boat Race)

Boat races are organized on this occasion, in particular the famous Nehru Trophy boat race held in Alappuzha.

5. Traditional Attire

People wear traditional Kerala attire, including white and gold sarees for women and white dhotis for men.

6. Cultural Performances

Various cultural programs, music, dance performances and competitions are held during the festival.

7. Processions

Colorful processions with beautifully decorated elephants and traditional music are a common sight during Onam.


To celebrate Chingam 1 and the Onam festival:

1. Decorate your home

Create a pookkalam using a variety of flowers and colors at the entrance of your home.

2. Prepare Onam Sadya

Cook or enjoy a traditional Onam Sadya with family and friends. Be sure to include a variety of vegetarian dishes.

3. Wear traditional attire

If possible, wear traditional Kerala clothing to get into the festive spirit.

4. Learn about Kerala culture

Take this opportunity to learn more about Kerala's rich culture, history and traditions.

5. Participate in local celebrations

If you are in Kerala or have access to Kerala cultural events, join in the local celebrations, processions and performances.

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