Onam 2022 festival celebrated by India's Malayali community

Festivities take place over 10 days in Kerala, with all religious communities taking part

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Temples in India’s southern Kerala have been decked out as millions celebrate the final day of Onam, the country's annual rice harvest festival.

The festivities come after two years of low-key celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the state one of the worst affected..

Onam is one of the most important festivals in the coastal state and is celebrated for 10 days by all religious communities.

The festival celebrates the return of mythical king Mahabali, who was banished by lord Vishnu (or Vamana) to the underworld out of envy for his even-handed rule.

Music, dance and cultural activities are planned and a sumptuous feast called Sadhya, an elaborate meal with more than 25 vegetarian dishes served on banana leaves, is prepared to celebrate the festival in its full spirit.

Traditional swings are put up and famous boat races in the tranquil backwaters in the state are organised and attended by thousands of enthusiastic revellers.

Children prepare a floral rangoli, a decorative design made on the occasion of festivals, as part of the Onam festival celebrations at a school in Chennai in August. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his wishes to the Malayali community across the world celebrating the festival.

“This festival reaffirms the vital role of Mother Nature and the importance of our hardworking farmers. May Onam also further the spirit of harmony in our society,” he said.

This year, authorities have gone all out to celebrate the festival, which began on August 30.

The state government has also announced bonuses for more than 1.3 million people, including government staffers and pensioners.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 6:16 AM