VIJAYAWADA: The auditorium of PB Siddhartha College in the city soaked in festive spirit Sunday as hundreds of Keralites gathered to celebrate Onam festival. The venue reverberated with cheer and joy, and even resembled the ‘God’s Own country’ as the Keralite families, dressed in traditional attires, observed all traditions and rituals. The Kerala Club organised the festivities in the city Sunday, which also marked the Club’s 20th anniversary.
Usually, Onam is celebrated in the beginning of Chingam month, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September. While the carnival lasts for 4-10 days, the first day (Atham) and the tenth day (Thirounam) are most important. But then, ‘Onasadhya’ has special significance. It comprises of nearly 26 varieties of mouth-watering vegetarian Kerala cuisine like Avial, Puliserry, Kootukariand Inji Curry and et al.
Around 1,500 Keralites came down to the college auditorium for Onam, where a flower decoration competition was conducted by the Kerala Club. The women performed ‘Thiruvathirakkali’, the traditional folk dance of Kerala.
Vijayawada Kerala Club secretary Satyanandan said that unlike every year, the celebrations were delayed due to some problems this time. Besides excitement, we were very pleased to meet the Keralites residing in the city. This was an opportunity for us all to celebrate the festival as one community, said Shona, a college student. “Having been living in the city for the past 15 years, we participate in the post-Onam celebrations every year,” said Jijo, owner of Venus Photo Source in Vijayawada.