Onam

Onam was 10 days ago this year. It is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala-  India and is the most celebrated festival of the state, generally amongst all Keralites irrespective of religion though it is a Hindu festival. Onam in Kerala lasts for 10 days and celebrations are often grand with intricate flowers decorations, dances, boat races and of course the elaborate lunch banquet which can have items ranging from 15 or more. This is a good time to visit Kerala to have an understanding of the beautiful cultural heritage of the state, and participating in any part of the festivities can be a memorable experience. Onam is rooted in the legend of the mythical King Mahabali who once ruled Kerala. The festival celebrates the visit of the King to check on his people in Kerala to see if they are happy and prosperous since his reign. As a child I have memories of elders telling me to eat well for the lunch as the King will come to check on me while I am sleeping, to see if I am full and satisfied gastronomically. The idea is to eat till you are exhausted which is not too hard as the feast is truly delicious. And yes, it is vegetarian.

Living abroad, our celebrations are limited to the ‘athapookalam’ or the flower decorations and the elaborate ‘sadya’ or the lunch. The flower design is of course done with flowers, however, we decided to try something new this year and used coloured salts. Plain salt was mixed with food colour and was used on the design which is first drawn out.

The various coloured salts

The final design

Sadly, I lost most of my pictures and hence do not have the shots of the lunch.

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