Onam Celebrations: Festivities, Holidays, and Wishes

Happy Onam readers! As the vibrant Onam festivities unfold in Kerala, schools and colleges are taking a break on Tuesday. Notably, the Chennai administration in Tamil Nadu has declared a local holiday in the district today to honor Onam. The joyous celebration continues as educational institutes in Kerala remain closed until August 31, extending the Onam holidays until August 30. Following that, August 31 marks a holiday in observance of Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti. During the Onam celebration, banks in the state will also remain closed until August 30, resuming operations afterward. However, on August 31, some banks will observe the Raksha Bandhan or Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi holiday, while others will remain open.

Onam is a cherished 10-day harvest festival enthusiastically celebrated by the Malayali people. It’s a time of joy, laughter, and jubilation. According to legend, envious of Mahabali’s popularity, the Devas (Gods) sought the help of Lord Vishnu to banish him into the netherworld. But before descending, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu to visit his subjects every year, giving rise to the grand celebration known as Onam.

Govt Distributes Free Onam Kits

The Kerala government, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has extended its benevolence by distributing over six lakh free Onam kits to impoverished families and residents of welfare institutions in Kerala. Out of the total kits distributed, a substantial 5,87,691 went to Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cardholders, with the remaining 20,000 allocated to residents of welfare institutions. The comprehensive kit includes essentials like tea, whole and split varieties of green gram, semolina payasam mix, ghee, cashew nuts, coconut oil, sambar powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, toor dal, powdered salt, and a convenient cloth bag for storage.

“This festival is also an occasion to express gratitude towards nature. Celebration of this festival by all irrespective of their religious and caste identities also gives a message of social harmony,” said President Droupadi Murmu.

Leaders Extend Warm Wishes

President Droupadi Murmu shared her heartfelt greetings with citizens on the eve of Onam, emphasizing that the festival’s celebration by all, regardless of their religious and caste affiliations, conveys a message of social unity. As the festival heralds the beginning of the harvest season, it stands as a remarkable embodiment of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage, Murmu stated. She extended her best wishes to all Indian citizens, both domestically and internationally, with a special focus on the brothers and sisters of Kerala. Her message also held a hope that this festive occasion inspires collective contributions to the nation’s progress and strengthens the spirit of brotherhood among all citizens.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined in the festive spirit, extending his greetings to people on Onam—a festival rooted in harvest and the homecoming of King Mahabali in Kerala. In his message on X, he conveyed, “Onam greetings to everyone! May your lives be showered with good health, unparalleled joy, and immense prosperity.” Modi also highlighted how Onam has evolved into a global festival over the years, beautifully showcasing the vibrant culture of Kerala.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan added their warm Onam greetings to the people of the southern state and the global Malayali community. Khan observed that Onam’s celebration reflects a cherished legacy of equality, oneness, and abundance, bringing a radiant joy of festivity to every household. Vijayan echoed similar sentiments, noting that Onam serves as a reminder of a bygone era marked by equality, prosperity, and tranquility—a reminder that fuels the ongoing pursuit to recreate such conditions.

As the joyous occasion of Onam envelops Kerala and resonates with Malayalis worldwide, the celebration conveys not only cultural richness but also the essence of unity and harmony.

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