METRO PLUS

The festival of flowers is back again

Be it any religion, festivals form the very fabric of social celebrations in Kerala. And as is the case with all festivals, Onam too has its own colorful imagery intertwined with mystical legends. Onam being the national festival of Kerala is undoubtedly the most celebrated one too. For Kerala and her people, Onam is much more than an annual pageant and it's an occasion that Malayalis celebrate with indomitable enthusiasm.

Shopping Season



Onam, interestingly, also happens to be a much sought after shopping season in Kerala and it's during this period of the year that it attains the shape of a huge shopping mall. Every year Onam paves for some of the biggest trade fairs and shopping festivals in Kerala. In fact no brand and its makers - be it any FMCG products, garments, consumer durables or cosmetics - in the country will ever wish to be away from God's Own Country during the Onam season. Even the street vendors line up the footpaths with varied merchandise.

Festival of flowers

Onam clocks with the harvest season in Kerala and it's also that period of the year when flowers blossom. The absorbing fragrance of Onam finds its fulfillment in the blossoming of flowers of various kinds as it plays an integral role in the celebrations. With ‘Atham' the real countdown to 'Thiruvonam' begins. And together with it, the markets too get flooded with flowers from various parts of Kerala and also from the neighbouring states.

Children collecting flowers early in the morning from the vicinity of their own village is a thing of past now. The new generation prefers to buy flowers from the market to lay floral carpets or 'pookkalam' in various patterns in front of their tiled courtyards or even on the corridors of their apartments.

However, the ‘pookkalam' competition has become a permanent annual event for many organizations as they have identified ‘pookkalam' contests as a potential venue to create better brand recall. Resultantly, with each year more and more companies are joining the bandwagon of ‘pookkalam' contests.

Onam also opens the floodgates of cultural extravaganza across Kerala with a host of water carnivals and folk programmes. Of late, cultural events like 'Pulikali' have turned out to be great crowd pullers. The traditional ‘sadya' served on tender plantain leaves is also very much part of the cultural edition. Old timers still reminiscence about the good old days when there existed joint families and the ‘Ona-sadya' was a celebrated event in itself.

Sunil



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