Festive buzz as Kerala celebrates Onam today

Festive buzz as Kerala celebrates Onam today

The celebrations ahead of Thiruvonam — the biggest festival on Kerala’s calendar — on Thursday was marked with the familiar bustle across the state. Kerala celebrates Thiruvonam on Friday.

In a season of protests over price rise and concerns on quality of vegetables arriving from other states, shopping trends in cities seemed to remain unaffected.

The last leg of uthrada paachil, the rush on Thiruvonam eve, was typically active towards the evening in cities like Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

In the capital city, prominent trade pockets like the Chalai market had customers coming in all through the day. “It’s the same story every year. We talk about settling for an Onam sadya (the traditional feast that tops the celebrations) from the caterers but at the last moment, decide to prepare it on our own. It helps that members of the family from outside Kerala come in too; now, it becomes a proper family get-together,” Sreelakshmi, a housewife in Thiruvananthapuram, said.

The shopping rush for clothes and electronic goods, continued in apparel stores and malls. Business is expectedly high on offers pegged to the festive season, As with the Onam trend, it is not unusual for sellers to promote every product, from car to packed payasam, in the state’s marketplace.

The demand for men to dress up as Mahabali, the asura king whose return to visit his subjects is celebrated on Onam, continued. Typically, they are required as ushers at shops or a staple, along with the athappookkalam (floral pattern), in organised events.

Temples in the state also witnessed a rush of devotees ahead of Thiruvonam.Thiruvananthapuram is hosting a week-long celebration, showcasing prominent artistes and musicians from different parts of the country. This year, projects like Arteria  have been added to the mix.

“This is an annual fixture. There’s a contention that we could have gone in for a toned-down celebration considering the financial worries, but I feel you can’t quite compromise on events like this,” P Johnson, a Thiruvananthapuram-based businessman, said.

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