Malayalees celebrate Onam

via PNS | Kochi published on August 23, 2010

Malayalees the world over celebrated their annual Onam festival on Monday in the nostalgic memories of the Puranic world of demon king Mahabali (Maveli), under whose rule all people lived as one in prosperity and where nobody lied or committed crimes.

New dresses called Onakkodis and Onassadya, sumptuous meals complete with desserts (Prathaman), were the highlights of the celebrations. Onam, considered also as the harvest festival, was also an occasion for the Malayalees living away from Kerala to be back home to spend time with their relatives.

In Kerala, the day started quite early with people starting preparing the delicacies of Onassadya. Temples across the State witnessed heavy rush as people, clad in Onakkodis, visited them for Thiruvonam worship. The temple visits were followed by the Onassadya, with family members of different generations coming together to celebrate the festival.

Though the prices of all essential commodities and vegetables remained high throughout the season, it did not affect the spirit of the festival. Bananas, an unavoidable item for Onam, cost up to Rs 50 a kilo, up from Rs 32 per kilo in the season last year.

“All other items are costly but you can’t avoid celebrating Onam in the name of price rise,” said Aravindakashan, a government employee. “The old saying is that you should celebrate Onam even if you have to sell your land for that,” he said.

The Onam festival had started on August 14 with the Atham day and it would conclude on Thursday with the famous Pulikkali (a show in which hundreds of men body-painted as tigers and leopards) in Thrissur. The season would end on Friday with the famous Utthrattathi boat race on River Pampa at Aranmula, Pathanamthitta, known for the Sree Parthasarathy temple.

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