Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 21: What with the massive floods in 2018 and another one the following year, and the two years of Covid pandemic, Keralites have not had the Onam revelry for the fourth successive year.
Onam is the traditional harvest festival of Keralites and which is one festival that is celebrated by the 3.30 crore population. Given the situation, all the routine festivities have to be kept in abeyance this year too and will become a closed door affair, which by now Kerala has now come to terms with.
Even though the Onam festival is a 10-day affair, the three key days start Friday and end with Avittam on Sunday, with Thiru Onam on Saturday being the most important day.
Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor recalls his days at the United Nations and said he was amazed that be it Namibia, Vienna or Geneva, he was always lucky to have celebrated Onam in several countries.
“We, Malayalees are there all over and I have been extremely fortunate to have had the traditional Onam lunch in numerous countries, but today given the pandemic days that we are all passing through the buzz word now is each and every one has to get vaccinated and all efforts should be for that,” said Tharoor.
Be it, Covid or floods, the indefatigable attitude of Keralite during the three days of Onam is the savouring of the 26 course vegetarian lunch eaten on a planarian leaf.
“Gone are the days of the yesteryears when the entire family comes together with the single agenda of preparing the Onam lunch and then eating it with one, two or three different ‘payasams’. Now the easiest way is to relax and wait for the ordered Onam lunch to arrive from either hotels or caterers. Times have changed,” said hugely popular Malayalm film comedian and character actor Jagdeesh.
With Onam in the Malayalam calendar listed a few days after the commencement of ‘Chingam’, it is the womenfolk who make the best of it, as even amidst Covid restrictions in place, women in good numbers are out in the streets dressed in the traditional sarees. This month is also considered to be the perfect time for weddings, especially among the Hindu’s.
“Compared to the previous years of floods and Covid, this time things appear to be good as we have had a stream of orders from brides. We were apprehensive whether this Onam will also go the way it went the previous year, things are, however, looking good at this point of time. Time is a luxury as we have very little left to meet our orders,” Reshmi Padma, who runs her popular Devanidhi Boutique, a one stop shop for the brides, here.