Kerala Tourism’s Onam fest off to a colourful start; tourists flock to the state

The week-long celebrations of Onam, the biggest harvest festival in Kerala which symbolizes King Mahabali’s homecoming, got off to a colourful start on Tuesday. It’s after a gap of three years that the annual Onam celebrations are organized on a grand scale.

An annual event for a long, the conduct of the celebrations was suspended in 2018 owing to severe floods that devastated the state. The Covid-19 pandemic came in the way of the celebrations in 2020 and 2021.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the Kerala Tourism’s Onam fest at Nishagandhi Auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram as the whole of the state started permeating with a resurgent mood, overcoming the pandemic-induced downturn and devastations spawned by floods in previous years.

The festivities being held in 32 venues across the state will feature over 8000 artists, half of whom will be from the traditional streams. The inaugural ceremony was preceded by a performance of Ilanjithara Melam led by noted percussionist Kalamandalam Sivadas. Actors Dulquer Salmaan and Aparna Balamurali were the chief guests. A music concert led by singers Vijay Yesudas and Rimi Tomy was the evening’s highlight. The cultural extravaganza will conclude on September 12 with colourful pageantries across the State.

The various programmes include a trade fair and a food festival, dance performances, musical concerts, symphony fusion, Kathaprasangam, folk arts, Kathakali, Koothu, Koodiyattam, Pookalam competitions, and Thiruvathirakali, among others.

The Museum premises witness the staging of plays and Yoga displays all these days. In keeping with tradition, swings have been installed at various points in the capital city. Besides, attractive illuminations were put up in all tourist destinations, including Kovalam.

The cultural extravaganza will conclude on September 12 with colourful pageantries in the state capital and other centres.

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