Onam celebrations subdued in Kochi

Onam celebrations in the city remained subdued as most people stayed indoors and preferred to celebrate the festival at their homes on Monday as COVID-19 restrictions continued.

Major centres like shopping malls, Kaloor Junction, Menaka and M.G. Road remained near-deserted throughout the day with a little movement of vehicles being noticed late in the afternoon.

The usual groups of traditional drummers, caparisoned elephants, people dressed up as Mahabali and ‘Pulikali’ artistes were nowhere to be seen in any part of the city on Thiruvonam day.

Missing were also the otherwise ubiquitous sellers of flowers and ‘payasam’ along the main roads of the city.

The Thrikkakara temple, which is the seat of the Onam legend Mahabali, did not witness any celebrations. Usually, the temple celebrations last over a week. The flag hoisting, a low-key affair, was held on August 22.

While last year saw about a dozen elephants adding colour to the ceremonies, they were missing altogether this year. All the rituals were carried out as on the Thiruvonam day but devotees stayed away.

The celebrations came to a close on Monday with the traditional ceremonial ‘aarattu’ in the evening. The votive lunch, in which around 50,000 people participate during normal times, was not served this year owing to the COVID-19 restrictions.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 8:42:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/onam-celebrations-subdued-in-kochi/article32497288.ece

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