Kochi: A colourful rally accompanied by floats and folk dance performances on Monday marked the ‘Athachamayam’ celebrations, heralding the start of the 10-day ‘Onam’ festivities in Kerala.
State Culture Minister A K Balan inaugurated the celebrations at nearby Tripunithura, capital of the erstwhile Royal Kingdom of Kochi.
In his speech, the Minister highlighted the relevance of Onam, saying it displays unity of people beyond caste, creed and religion.
The state government has made elaborate arrangements for celebrating Onam this year.
The spirit of Onam would give strength to the people of the state to come out of the difficulties caused due to the devastating floods, Balan said.
Various folk art forms like Theyyam, Kolkali, Mayilattom, Ammankudam, Pulikkali, and classical art forms like Kathakali added colour to the Athachamayam procession.
Giving a rhythmic touch to the procession, percussionists performed Chendamelam and panchavadyam.
In the days of kings, the Maharaja of Kochi used to participate in the procession from Tripunithura to the Vamanamoorthy temple at Thrikkakara.
According to legends, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is believed to visit Kerala at the time of Onam to see his subjects. (PTI)