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Nature’s bounty comes alive with Onam

Onam is one of the important festivals of Kerala. The ten-day festival that begins with Atham culminates with Thiru Onam. Pookalams, the flower carpets and Onam Sadya, the lavish spread are synonymous with the festival.

It’s a festival of opulence. The receding monsoon provides a perfect ambience for celebration. The nature looks bountiful with greenery everywhere. The picturesque backwaters of God’s Own Country make it further elegant. Dance, music and other cultural programmes add to the festivities.

Prior to Onam, houses are cleaned and decked. On the day of Atham, people take bath early in the morning and visit temples. Young girls, aided by boys sometimes, prepare Pookalams in the front yard to welcome King Mahabali, who is believed to be visiting his subjects on this auspicious occasion. The Pookalam gets larger and larger as more flowers are added on the following days.

It’s time for fun and frolic for young and adults alike. Youngsters sing and play with decorated swings hung on the high branches of tress. For the nuclear families, it is an occasion to catch up with their extended family. Malayalis spread all over the world are home-bound to be with their loved ones. The breakfast too is unique with steamed bananas and fried pappadam.

For the traditional Keralites, Onam is an occasion to salute the Mother Nature for being bounteous. Foreigners visit Kerala in large number during the Onam season. Even the Malayalees invite the non-Keralites from within the country and abroad to their home for a pleasant stay during the Onam festivity.

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