The first day of the Onam celebrations starts on Atham day during the Malayalam month of Chingam, which this year falls today, 7th September 2013. The date is ten days before Thiruvonam. The creation of Athapookalam is an important part of every Onam festival. This special, circular arrangement of flowers is one of the most iconic Onam traditions. It is believed that the great king Mahabali will come to watch the Pookalam on the final day of Onam. The ten days leading up to Thiruvonam are filled with festival and each day has its own importance in various rituals and traditions.