Rain or shine, it is all festivities for the people of Tripunithura on Atham day. Braving the sporadic showers, on Saturday people poured out on to the streets of Tripunithura to celebrate the Atham festivities which herald the start of the 10-day Onam celebrations in the State.

The festivities got off to a colourful start with Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob hoisting the flag at the Government Boys’ High School ground. The procession taken out in connection with the festivities was flagged off by K. Babu, Minister for Excise.

Besides caparisoned elephants, folk art forms such as Theyyam, Kummatti, Kolkali, Mayilattom, Kummi, Poykal, Ammankudam, Pulikkali, and Kathakali added colour to the procession. Chendamelam and panchavadyam lent a rhythmic touch to the procession. The multifaceted cultural richness of the State had a reflection in the procession. Tableaux depicted scenes from legends and epics and also highlighted various social, environmental and political issues. There were around 20 floats in the procession.

The celebration commemorates the journey of the erstwhile King of Kochi, with his entourage, from Tripunithura to the Thrikkakara Vamana temple for participating in the festival at the temple. In fact, the erstwhile kings celebrated Onam with great pomp and gaiety. The procession taken out during the reign of kings had representatives from all communities.

They included Nettoor Thangal, representing the Muslim community, Karingachira Kathanar who represented the Christian community and Chembil Arayan, representing the fisherfolk. The 10-day festivities are organised now by the Tripunithura Municipality.

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