From small to elaborate floral carpets, known as pookalams, every office establishment and home in Kerala is marked with the festive signature of 'pookalams'.
Onam 2019: Wow, it’s Atham already, which means Kerala festival Onam is around the corner. For Malayalis worldwide, ‘Atham’ marks the ten-day-long festivities associated with Onam, which is Kerala’s ‘golden’ harvest festival. The festival of Onam is unique to God’s own country in many ways. From small to elaborate floral carpets, known as pookalams, every office establishment and home in Kerala is marked with the festive signature of ‘pookalams’. Wondering how many days Onam is celebrated? The answer is ten festive and fun-filled days. Wait, there’s also digital pookalam event for students to create pookalam designs with themes and post on their school wiki portal!
In an interesting development, the Kerala Infra and Technology for Education (KITE) has come forward with an innovative ‘Digital Pookalam’ event. Across all government and aided schools, the students can participate in making the Onam pookalam and post their digital version on the School portal. Each school can post a maximum of three Pookalam images on their respective school portal on Wiki. In fact, if you are keen to have a closer look, check out the images by clicking the section titled ‘Digital Pookalam’, which is available on the website. However, note that the content is written in Malayalam.
During the Onam season, business flourishes across most parts of Kerala, touching the lives of the most ordinary traders and vendors. From vegetables to consumer goods and retail items, families purchase new clothes for themselves and their loved ones, buy new items for their home and so on.
Flower sellers and vendors are the most sought after in terms of demand. Local reports say that the prices of marigolds, for instance, touch around Rs 250 per kilo in the mornings.
Most of the flower stocks for Onam are transported to Kerala from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. For the same reason, most of the flower vendors work round-the-clock. Mostly, the vendors are from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They work continuously through the festive season, given that the demand for flowers is at an all-time high during Onam season.
Buying gold jewellery is also considered to be auspicious during Thiruvonam. During the Onam festive season, most jewellery and textile shops witness brisk business and generally extend their working hours.
Local eateries, restaurants and hotels tempt people with the choicest sadhya menu. This also marks a big and busy season for local caterers as most families choose to enjoy the occasion with other members of the family and therefore, they outsource the sadhya. The number of families in Kerala opting to enjoy the Onasadhya in hotels is also on the rise.
For Keralites, Thiruvonam is the most important day to celebrate in this ten-day festival. Till the grand feast is over, all family members wait in anticipation for the mouthwatering feast, which is the most exciting part of Onam celebrations.