With the traditional ‘uthrada paachil' over by a sunny Thursday evening, Kottayam district is all set for celebrating Onam. The last few days had witnessed unprecedented business at the major shops and on the footpath alike, though the hide-and-seek played by the extended monsoon played spoilsport on many occasions.
The textiles showrooms had record sales thanks to the relatively extensive Onam season this year. In spite of the buoyancy in the gold price, gold jewelleries too had a good season thanks to the presence of the underlying ‘marriage season' along with Onam sales.
A new trend that has emerged this year was the arrival of the footpath vendors in large numbers. They were all over the town selling crockery, readymade garments, soft toys, vegetables and flowers. Their rates were much lower than that of the shops: a shirt for Rs. 70; toys from Rs. 10 onwards and crockery sets from Rs. 50 onwards. Many of the hawkers are from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, their potential market include the immigrant labour force who purchase and stock items for the forthcoming Diwali celebrations.
The roadside flowers vendors were also making a killing at the market though they were underselling the produce compared to the local flower sellers.
The Onam Bazaars organised by various government agencies including the Khadi Board and Poverty Alleviation Department too witnessed good response from the people.
Keywords: Onam celebrations