This family celebrates Onam with royalty | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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This family celebrates Onam with royalty

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2011 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent

At the Nair residence in Sion, the Ganesh idol will give way to a custom-made idol of King Mahabali to celebrate Kerala's rich harvest festival, Onam, on Friday.

With an intricate flower rangoli, popularly called Onam Pookkalam, to be created at the doorstep and a feast comprising more than ten traditional dishes, the Malayali family will celebrate the festival with fervour.

"As children, we used to head to our Kerala village for a family get together. Wearing traditional clothes, the women of the house used to spend hours together preparing the Onam Sadya (special lunch laid out on banana leaves), while the men folk used to participate in the boat races," said Aswati Nair, 23, who has been celebrating the festival at her Sion home for the last few years.

"With work schedules, it is impossible to take a ten-day break," she rued.

As part of the festivities planned, the family will begin their day early on Friday to prepare the big meal. The sadya (lunch) will comprise an array of dishes that are served on a banana leaf.

"People from the southern parts of Kerala fast on the day, while the people from the north and central pockets binge on the elaborate feast," said Madhura Menon, 36, a resident of Mulund.

Onam is celebrated in memory of King Mahabali, during whose reign the state witnessed its golden era and prospered.