Chennai: Onam, an annual harvest festival of Kerala, is one of the major events celebrated with pomp by the Malayali community across the world. The festival commemorates the return of King Mahabali, a mythical and righteous king, and brings the communities together. The festival falls on the first month – Chingam – of the Malayalam calendar and spans for the duration of 10 days. It begins marking the Malayalam new year and ends with Thiruvonam. The ten days are sequentially known as Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketta, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam and Thiruvonam. This year, the festival began on August 12 and will end on August 23.The festive celebrations generally begins from Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara temple in Kochi. Different kinds of activities and celebrations like boat races, tiger dances, folk songs and dance, sports competitions, martial arts, floral rangoli and prayers are offered during the festival. Sumptuous feasts (Onasadya) are served at households during the festival.Also read | 2.38 Lakh Tonnes Of Coal Missing From North Chennai Thermal Power Station: Tamil Nadu Electricity MinisterLow key celebrations for 4th year in a rowAffected by floods and Covid-19 pandemic, the festival has become a low-key affair for Malayalis for the fourth consecutive year. Kerala was hit by massive floods in 2018 and 2019 while the pandemic has hit the country in 2020. Keralites have come to terms to celebrate it behind their closed doors. Leaders including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and others have expressed onam wishes to the public.
Best wishes on the special occasion of Onam, a festival associated with positivity, vibrancy, brotherhood and harmony. I pray for everyone’s good health and wellbeing.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 21, 2021
Onam signifies peace and harmony. On this auspicious festival, I extend my warm greetings to all our Malayalee sisters and brothers around the world. May the flavours of Sadya and the musical beats of Pulikali bring an abundance of joy and prosperity to all. Happy Onam!
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 21, 2021
Onam celebrates the spirit of equality and unity. It represents the pluralistic spirit of Kerala. I’m glad to have experienced this joy up-close and personal. Wishing everyone a very happy and safe Onam. – @RahulGandhi ji pic.twitter.com/0lZLjgpUae
— Srinivas BV (@srinivasiyc) August 21, 2021
There’s an Onam swing tradition that one normally leaves to young girls. I was persuaded to get Into the spirit of things this year. Happy Onam! pic.twitter.com/Z23nJ9Fmfp
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 21, 2021