Onam 2021: Shashi Tharoor gets into 'spirit of things' with a traditional swing

Wishing his followers a Happy Onam, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that there is an Onam swing tradition that one normally leaves to young girls but he was persuaded to get into "the spirit of things" this year.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor enjoying the Onam swing tradition (Screengrab from video posted by @ShashiTharoor on Twitter)
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor enjoying the Onam swing tradition (Screengrab from video posted by @ShashiTharoor on Twitter)
Published on Aug 21, 2021 10:19 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday posted a video of him on a swing as he celebrated the festival of Onam in the traditional way. The senior Congress leader, who represents Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the Lok Sabha, said that although the tradition is usually left to young girls, he was persuaded to get into the "spirit of things" this year. Posting the clip on Twitter, Tharoor wished his followers, "Happy Onam!"

Also Read | PM greets on Onam, says festival brings out positivity, vibrancy, harmony

"There’s an Onam swing tradition that one normally leaves to young girls. I was persuaded to get Into the spirit of things this year. Happy Onam!" Shashi Tharoor wrote from his Twitter account.

Donning a traditional red kurta and white mundu, the Congress leader was seen in the 30-second video clip enjoying the swing tradition, which is also known as Onam Oonjal in Kerala.

Onam, celebrated in Kerala, is one of the most popular harvest festivals in the country. Each day of Onam has its own name, significance, and activities, which people do to enjoy this festival. There are also a few post-Onam celebrations that continue even after 10 days.

People are celebrating Saturday, August 21, as 'Thiruvonam', the most auspicious day during the 10-day festival. Notably, the swing is considered an integral part of Onam celebrations, especially in rural areas. Young men and women, decked in their best, sing Onappaatt, or Onam songs, and rock one another on swings slung from high branches.

Also Read | For pandemic-hit Kerala, it’s a make-or-break Onam

Onam is celebrated each year between August and September, and accordingly, the festival fell on August 21 (Saturday) this time. However, the festivities started on August 12 and are slated to go on till September 23.

Onam falls in the month of Chingam, marked during August-September as per the Gregorian calendar. It is celebrated to honour the kind-hearted and much-beloved demon King Mahabali, who is believed to return to Kerala during this festival.

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