Onam 2023: Thriketa, 6th Day Of The Harvest Festival
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Onam is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Malayalis in and beyond Kerala for 10 days. While Onam is primarily a harvest festival that celebrates the abundance of vegetables, grains, fruits and even flowers, it is also a time when the mythical King Mahabali is believed to return to Kerala. Legend has it that the righteous king was exiled to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu’s Vamana avatara, but was given the boon of being able to visit God’s Own Country during the festival of Onam

So, on each day of the 10-day festival of Onam, the preparations mount up further and further. By the time the sixth day of Thriketa or Triketta arrives, the Onam festivities are on in full swing. On this day of Onam, joy and jubilation is at its peak, so naturally, people gather along with their families and communities to celebrate the day.  

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On the day of Thriketa, people visit their families and ancestral homes. Together, families visit their local or significant temples on Thriketa after taking a bath and donning new clothes. Meanwhile, at home, a magnificent Onam Sadhya feast is also prepared by the women. The touch of the eldest matriarch of the family, whether it is a grandmother or a mother or an aunt, makes the entire Onam Sadhya feast even more special. 

Another feature of Thriketa is that by the sixth day, the Pookalam outside every home now looks like a large work of floral art. The Pookalam is usually started with concentric circles of flowers on the first day of Onam, and on each day, new flower varieties are allowed to be added by women and children. So, by the time Thriketa arrives, the Pookalam at every home is a complex, gigantic floral decoration celebrating the freshest flowers of the season.  

Looking forward to cooking up a delicious Sadhya for the sixth day of Onam, Thriketa? Here is a recipe for the unique Banana Blossom or Vazha Koomb Payasam you can try out. 


1 cup banana flowers, chopped 

2-3 tbsp ragi powder 

1 cup jaggery syrup 

2 cups coconut milk 

½ tsp cardamom powder 

¼ tsp dry ginger powder 

½ cup ghee 

Cashews, as required 

Raisins, as required 


1. Mix a teaspoon of ghee with the banana flowers to turn them aromatic. 

2. In a separate bowl, mix the ragi powder and coconut milk until no lumps remain. 

3. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews and raisins. Drain and set aside. 

4. In the same pan, add more ghee and then the chopped banana flowers. Saute for 5 minutes. 

5. Once the banana blossoms turn a bit tender, add the ragi and coconut milk mix and keep stirring. 

6. Now add the jaggery syrup and mix well. Cook until the Payasam thickens then set aside to cool. 

7. Add the cashews and raisins on top, then serve the Vazha Koomb Payasam.