THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The festive mood that soaks during the days following Thiruvonam has got an early start this time. Wednesday, the day before ‘Uthradapachil’, was the D-day for many offices and institutions here to add spice to the festivities and the morning sights on the street had men and women dressed up in traditional Kerala attire, imparting a dignified start to the Onam days.
The nerve centre of the festivities, the Museum-Kanakakkunnu area, had the balloon-wallahs booking their seats right from afternoon itself, hinting that their little customers were about to trickle in. The newly-decked up Kanakakkunnu was slowly attracting the visitors’ eye, with the newly-done stairs becoming the new ‘selfie’ spots for families and youngsters.
On the same stretch, the fall of evening was when the Corporation office was getting into the party mood. The last Onam celebration of the present council was in the “all is well,” way, giving priority to the city-zens first. So, other than the ‘pookalam’ competition and ‘Onasadya’ (feast), the celebrations were scheduled post office hours. Last year, the authorities had attracted for criticism for not letting in the vehicles of the public inside the office premises during office hours on the day Onam was celebrated. This year, it was the council hall that was the venue of the ‘pookalam’ competition. Right after the ‘sadya’, which had councillors from all political parties taking part, it was rehearsal time for the participants for the stage programmes in the evening. While the ‘grown-ups’ preferred showcasing their crooning skills, it was time for their children to take centre stage to shake a leg.
At Public Library Hall, Deseeya Balatharangam organised its Onam celebrations and this time with a special dedication to former President A P J Abdul Kalam. To commemorate Kalam, an exhibition, ‘Swapnangalude Rajakumaran’, was arranged. The two-day celebrations were inaugurated by Aswathy Thirunal Gouri Bayi, member of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore and the exhibition by Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar. In the afternoon, there were competitions organised for children, including a painting contest in memory of Kalam.
At the Onam week celebrations under the aegis of the Tourism Department, festivities were getting into full swing on Wednesday. After the inaugural ceremony the other day, 26 venues across the capital have got into into the festive spirit, opening programmes in the evenings. The celebrations will come to a close on Monday.