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August 23, 2010

People celebrate Onam across Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: People in Kerala celebrated the harvest festival of Onam on Monday. During the occasion, women decorated their houses with intricate designs known as Pookalam, or Rangoli. Snakeboat races and exotic Kaikottikali dances are some of the remarkable ways the festival is celebrated. People maintained Onam is a time to forget the worries of a year and hope for a better time ahead. It is the only festival that has no religious tag, and people of all faiths participate in it. "Onam is a festival of the country, in which there is no difference between Muslims, Christians and Hindus and there is no limit to the celebrations. We are celebrating it since early morning; we cook food and desserts. The city is decorated with lights and cultural programmes are going on at various places," said Aneesha, a Muslim Local. "We will visit various places to witness the celebrations. The only problem is that it's the month of Ramadan so we can eat at night only. I think 'Onam' means a memory of delicious feast," he added. Some locals said the festival marks the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali. "Every year we have Onam celebration in college. We do Atta-Pokanam (process of making Rangoli) here. It's like welcoming Mahabali back to Kerala," said Parvati, a local. The Onam festival lasts for 10 days, and falls during the Malayali month of Chingam, which falls between August and September.

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