Setting the stage for presenting the best of Kerala’s classical, folk, ethnic and popular art forms in multiple venues across the State, the week-long Onam celebrations organised by Kerala Tourism will begin at a grand inaugural ceremony in the capital on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the fete at Nishagandhi Auditorium here at 6 p.m. on the day.
“Keralites are set to celebrate Onam in a grand manner this time as it marks the State’s resurgence from the crippling impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and back-to-back natural disasters,” said Ministers P.A. Mohamed Riyas and V. Sivankutty at a joint press conference here on Saturday.
Unveiling the highlights of the programmes lined up in over 30 venues across the State, Mr. Riyas said the fete will feature over 8,000 artistes.
The inaugural ceremony will be preceded by a performance of Ilanjithara Melam led by Kalamandalam Sivadas. Actors Dulquer Salmaan and Aparna Balamurali will be the chief guests. A music concert led by Vijay Yesudas and Rimi Tomy will be the evening’s highlight. The cultural extravaganza will conclude on September 12 with colourful pageantries across the State.
Ahead of the inaugural, Mr. Riyas will ‘switch on’ illuminations put up in the heart of the city, from Kowdiar to East Fort and from Vellayambalam to Sasthamangalam. Illuminations will also be installed at the Kovalam beach.
A trade fair and a food festival have been organised on the Kanakakunnu Palace premises. Two more venues have been added this year in the capital district — Kerala Arts and Craft Village at Vellar and Sree Narayana Gurukulam at Chempazhanthi — as part of the fete.
The State capital will host dance performances by actor Navya Nair and danseuse Paris Laxmi and music performances by rock bands Thaikkudam Bridge and Agam, apart from a variety of other programmes. A concert led by singer Sithara Krishnakumar and a symphony fusion by classical musician Ramesh Narayan will be held at the Greenfield Stadium, Kazhakuttam.
Just as in the past years, ganamela will be held at the Poojapura Maidan. There will also be concerts at Suryakanthi (Kanakakunnu Palace grounds) and Public Office premises. Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan and Bharat Bhavan will stage dance and classical music performances. Kathaprasangam will be held at Gandhi Park, while the Museum premises will witness staging of plays and yoga display on all days.
Folk arts will be showcased at Thiruvarangu and Sopanam. Katha, Kaviyarangu and plays will be organised at Ayyankali Hall, while Kathakali, Koothu, Koodiyattam and Aksharslokam performances will be staged at Karthika Thirunal Theatre.
In keeping with the tradition of Onam, swings will be installed at various points in the capital city. Pookkalam competitions will be held at Jawahar Balabhavan, and Thiruvathirakali contests at Bharat Bhavan. Various performances by women and children will be held at Shanghumughom.
A host of programmes have also been planned at Nedumangadu, Mudavoorpara Boat Club, Veli Tourist Village, Peroorkada Bapuji Library, Kazhakuttam, Attingal, Neyyattinkara Municipal ground, Sree Chithira Thirunal Park at Fort and Akkulam.