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Malayalees Celebrate "Onam" festival for the prosperity of the people.

Chennai, Aug. 24 -- Pookolam', a decoration with colourful flower petals, outside their residence on the occasion of Onam festival in Chennai.

Malayalees living in Tamil Nadu and all over the world on Monday celebrated "ONAM" festival commemorating the egalitarian utopia under the reign of mythical King Kahabali during which people lived in plenty, prosperity and equality.

People cutting across Class and caste, decorated their homes with floral carpets(Aththa Poo Kolam) to welcome the annual re-visit of Mahabali.

The legend has it that 'Asura' king Mahabali was banished to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu, who took the incarnation of Vamana (the dwarf), under pressure from 'Devas', who were jealous of the King's popularity.

Before his departure, the King secured an assurance from Lord Vishnu that he would be allowed to visit his subjects on 'Thiruvonam' day of Malayalam calendar every year.

The festivities scaled to its crescendo in the last couple of days with towns and villages thronged by men, women and children going out for their festive shopping.

Most items associated with Onam celebrations including flowers are brought from neighboring States as Kerala's domestic production is not enough to meet the festive demand.

Bringing relief of the common-man, the State agencies organised hundreds of special fares across Kerala where essentials and vegetables were sold at subsidized rates.

Cultural events, showcasing the best of Kerala's performing arts, were organised here as well as other cities and towns for a week.

The Kerala state officially honored renowned actor Kamal Hasan, who was the chief guest at the Onam-Tourism Week celebrations in Trivandrum on Sunday night night. The actor launched a massive eye-donation campaign in the State.

In rural areas, local youth clubs organized art and sports competitions to revive folk arts and rural sporting traditions, many of which are on the verge of extinction.

'Onasadya' (a sumptuous feast) was another highlight of the day as people assembled for their lunch in their homes after invoking the blessings of King Mahabali.

Tamil Nadu Governer Surjit Singh Barnala, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi main opposition leader and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai, Chief Minister V.S. Achtuthanandan and leaders of all political parties greeted Malayalees at home as well as abroad.

In Tamil Nadu, the state government declared local holiday in Chennai, Coimbatore and Kanyakumari districts.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Date:Aug 24, 2010
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