TRIPUNITHURA: The clouds were seen descending slowly as if it would soon give way to showers. But, neither did it deter the public from squeezing themselves onto every available spot near the Boy’s High School at Atham Nagar to witness the ‘Athachamayam’ nor did it dwindle their enthusiasm one bit. The Onam celebrations in the district kickstarted on Friday with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating the ‘Athachmayam’. True to the festive spirit, the roads leading to Atham Nagar were jam-packed. The tempo of celebration rose when Excise Minister K Babu cheered the traditional way (‘Aarppu’) just after Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob hoisted the traditional flag (‘Athapathaka’).
The crowd at once joined the Excise Minister in cheering giving a grand start to the festivities.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy allotted `5 lakh for this year’s ‘Athachamayam’. Meanwhile, Tripunithura Municipality chairman R Venugopal requested the Tourism Department to earmark a specific amount every year for Athachamayam rather than giving a small amount.As many as 18 different items were showcased in the ‘Athachamayam’ on Friday. The enthusiasm of the public added colour to the celebrations. Children who donned ‘Pulivesham’ were in full zeal and even lured a old woman to join them in their celebrations. Another highlight of the celebration was the variety of floats that exhorted religious harmony.