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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Pune-based Malayalis harvest joy this Onam; spread love by donating to flood-hit victims

pune Updated: Sep 11, 2019 18:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

A 10-day festival, Onam, is all about celebrating the homecoming of emperor Mahabali from the netherworld with flowers and grand meals, according to tradition. It also marks the beginning of harvest period in Kerala and city-based Malayalis are spreading joy this harvest season.

John Thekkinkad, general secretary, Pune Malayali federation, said, “On this day, families generally prefer spending time at home. The festival is dedicated to King Mahabali who was sent to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu. The 10 days of the festival are considered auspicious.”

The federation donated ₹2 lakh towards flood victims in Kolhapur and Sangli.

Sandeep Sajan, an entrepreneur, has been celebrating the festival at home for over 30 years. This year, however, he has decided to keep aside some money for the flood victims in his state and in Maharashtra. “While we have the option to celebrate and enjoy, there are families who have lost so much because of the floods. So, a few of my friends and I have collected an amount that we will be donating to the needy.”

Thekkinkad adds, “The community will be celebrating the festival on September 28 with a cultural event. It will include traditional performances, dances and other events by the children in Pune. We will also be serving Onam sadhya (banquet) to 1,200 people.”

“The beginning of the harvest season, Onam is celebrated with prayers to deities at home, ritual baths, pookalam or flower petal rangoli decorations outside ones’ home and feasting on a homely yet celebratory ‘Onam Sadya’,” adds Sasidharan Nair, a member of the community.

The last day that is Thiruvonam (September 11) is considered auspicious and the lunch preparation on this day has to be big, varied and delicious, according to traditions.

Pune-based hotels and eateries organised for special Onam sadhyas wherein 28-30 dishes were prepared for the lavish lunch.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 18:07 IST