Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), September 11:-Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday greeted people on Onam, saying that giving, sharing and celebrating together is the essence of the festival which binds all communities and strengthens the secular and plural fabric of India.
In her greeting, she hoped that Onam brings joy, prosperity, peace and strength to all.
Extending warm wishes to all Malayalis living in India and abroad, Gandhi said, “Giving, sharing and celebrating together is the essence of Onam that binds all communities and faiths together and strengthens the secular and plural fabric of India.
Onam is an annual Harvest festival in the state of Kerala. It falls on the 22nd nakshatra Thiruvonam in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam, which in Gregorian calendar overlaps with August–September.
According to legends, the festival is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
Onam is a major annual event for Malayali people in and outside Kerala. It is a harvest festival, one of three major annual Hindu celebrations along with Vishu and Thiruvathira, and it is observed with numerous festivities.
Onam celebrations include Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Pookkalam (flower Rangoli), Onathappan (worship), Onam Kali, Tug of War, Thumbi Thullal (women’s dance), Kummattikali (mask dance), Onathallu (martial arts), Onavillu (music), Kazhchakkula (plantain offerings), Onapottan (costumes), Atthachamayam (folk songs and dance), and other celebrations.
Onam is the official state festival of Kerala with public holidays that start four days from Uthradom (Onam eve). Major festivities take places across 30 venues in Thiruvananthapuram. It is also celebrated by Malayali diaspora around the world. Though a Hindu festival, non-Hindu communities of Kerala participate in Onam celebrations considering it as a cultural festival.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)