With 'pookkalam' and 'sadya', Keralites celebrate Onam in traditional way
On the occasion of "Thiru Onam", the most auspicious day of the 10-day-long festival, people visited temples in large numbers, cutting across villages and towns in the morning
Wearing traditional clothes, preparing sumptuous feasts and laying colourful floral carpets in the courtyards, Keralites celebrated Onam, the state's harvest festival, on Tuesday with pomp and gaiety.
On the occasion of "Thiru Onam", the most auspicious day of the 10-day-long festival, people visited temples in large numbers, cutting across villages and towns in the morning.
Children and youngsters decorated their houses with colourful "pookkalam" (floral carpets) in various designs and colours.
In villages, people put up high swings, called 'oonjal' in local parlance, in the courtyards of their homes as part of festivities.
While elders gifted "onakkodi" (new clothes) to other members of the family, women prepared "sadya", the sumptuous feast comprising various traditional vegetarian dishes, pickles and delicious dessert 'payasam'.
Various organisations and local clubs organised traditional games including "Vadamvali" (tug of war) and "Uriyadi" (break the pot) and art forms like "Pulikkali", "Thiruvathira", "Theyyam" and so on across the state, reviving the memories of the glorious past.
According to folklore, Onam is a festival connected with the return of the mythical demon king Mahabali under whose reign everyone lived in happiness and equality.
Legend has it that envious of his popularity, the Devas (Gods) sought the help of Lord Vishnu to get him banished into the netherworld but before going down, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu to visit his subjects every year on Thiruvonam Day.
Onam is also one of the biggest shopping seasons in the southern state, as people thronged markets till last night to buy their favourite items for the festival.
Markets and malls were flooded with last-minute shoppers on Monday evening, and long queues of people were seen at the fair-price shops opened by the State Civil Supplies Corporation, Horticorp, and Consumerfed as well.
President Droupadi Murmu, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among those who greeted people on Thiru Onam Day.
"Greetings to all fellow citizens and our brothers and sisters in Kerala on Onam! On this auspicious occasion we express our gratitude to Mother nature for the countless bounties. May this harvest festival usher in prosperity and the spirit of harmony among all," the President said in her social media handle.
Extending his greetings, Modi said over the last many years, Onam has become a global festival that beautifully showcases the vibrant culture of Kerala.
"Onam greetings to everyone! May your lives be showered with good health, unparalleled joy and immense prosperity. Over the last many years, Onam has become a global festival and it beautifully showcases the vibrant culture of Kerala," he said in a post on X (formely Twitter).
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan too extended their Onam greetings to Malayalis across the world.
Published: 29 Aug 2023, 12:09 PM