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Onam: Kerala’s harvest festival

Gulf News reader Ramesh Menon took pictures of Onam decorations in Thrissur, Kerala, India. He said: “Onam – the traditional festival of harvest for Keralites is the most celebrated festival of the year. The festival marks the arrival of the mythical king called Mahabali. People from different walks of life come together and celebrate this day with family and friends over a luxurious feast. People decorate their houses with symbolic items, including day-to-day household utensils, vegetables and flowers. In the olden days, flowers used for decorations were picked fresh from people’s gardens, but now there are huge markets where people can buy all kinds of decorative items.Children are most excited for Onam, as they get gifts from their elders. I remember my childhood days in a small village named Urakam in Thrissur, where the decorations were very elaborate and the entire village seemed to be jumping with joy and excitement. Over time, the number of nuclear families are increasing and regional associations are gaining prominence, because of which people tend to celebrate these festivities at their respective associations and gatherings outside home. Let harmony and joy prevail with goodwill for all as envisaged by the great king Mahabali.” Expatriate residents in the UAE, from the Indian state of Kerala, celebrated the festival on Monday.