Onam fest by Kerala Tourism to begin on Aug 27

Onam celebrations organised by Kerala Tourism with the festival theme ‘Onam the symphony of harmony’ will start on August 27 with a grand state-level inaugural ceremony at Nishagandhi, Thiruvananthapuram.

The week-long Onam celebrations organised by the Kerala Tourism will take off to a colourful start on August 27 with a grand state-level inaugural ceremony in the city, setting the stage to bring alive the classical, folk, ethnic and popular art forms before a wide audience in multiple venues in the capital city and districts across the state, based on the core theme ’Onam the symphony of harmony.’ 

Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan will open the celebrations at Nishagandhi Auditorium on August 27 at 6 pm. Minister for Tourism and Public Works Shri P A Mohamed Riyas will preside over the state-level inaugural ceremony, which will be attended by Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly Shri A N Shamseer, Minister for Finance Shri K N Balagopal, General Education and Labour Minister Shri V Sivankutty, Transport Minister Shri Antony Raju, Minister for Food & Civil Supplies Shri G R Anil, Leader of the Opposition Shri V D Satheesan, Mayor Smt Arya Rajendran, MPs Dr Shashi Tharoor, Shri A A Rahim, Shri Binoy Viswam, Dr John Brittas, MLAs, and the District Panchayat President. 

Eminent danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and actor Fahadh Faasil will be the chief guests. 

Ahead of the inaugural ceremony, students of Peringode School, Pattambi, will perform Panchavadyam and artistes of Kerala Kalamandalam will present a spectacular dance performance on the festival theme. ‘Chinganilavu,’ a mega show led by playback singers Biju Narayanan and Rimi Tomy, sponsored by Kairali TV, will be the evening’s highlight. 

Around 8,000 artistes will be performing in the mega cultural festival, showcasing before the world the eclectic culture of Kerala, where people professing different faiths have been living in complete harmony, contributing to the cultural and social development of ‘God’s Own Country’ for centuries. 

The festival will conclude on September 2 with colourful pageantries in the state capital and other centres. Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan will flag off the Onam pageantry at Manaveeyam Veedhi. 

The Onam celebrations organised by the state Tourism Department is a major event in the state’s tourism calendar that attracts lot of tourists to Kerala during the season to enjoy the state’s diverse and vibrant cultural expressions and savour a variety of traditional meals topped with the multi-dish ‘sadya’ served on plantain leaf, the Minister added. 

In the state capital, programmes will be staged in as many as 31 venues including Kanakakunnu, Central Stadium, Thycaud Police Ground, Poojappura Ground, Shankumugham, Bharat Bhavan, Gandhi Park, Ayyankali Hall, Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan, and Museum Compound. 

Nishagandhi will be the venue for some of the exciting programmes like Mallika Sarabhai’s dance performance, fusion orchestra led by percussionist Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar and Musician Prakash Ulliyeri, Shahabaz Aman’s ghazal night, Harisankar’s musical band and a mega show led by Tini Tom and Prajod Kalabhavan. 

Central Stadium will host the performances of music bands by Naresh Iyer, Masala Coffee, Sithara, Sooraj Santhosh and Lakshmi Jayan, Gouri Lakshmi, and Job Kurien. The band of Jassie Gift will perform at Thycaud Police Ground. Also, the ganamela led by playback singers – Unni Menon, Afsal, Sudheep Kumar, Aparna Rajeev, and Nithya Mammen will be held at Poojappura Ground. The Greenfield Stadium will witness ganamela led by Ranjini Jose, Najeem Arshad, Panthalam Balan, Nishad, and Pushpavathi. There will also be ganamela at Public Office compound. 

Ayyankali Hall and Museum Compound will be the venues for professional and amateur drama respectively. Kalaripayattu (Martial arts) will be held in Museum Compound. Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan and Bharat Bhavan will host main dance programmes. 

There will be ‘Kathaprasangam’ at Gandhi Park while Folk arts will be staged at Thiruvarangu and Sopanam. 

Musical and percussion instruments will be played at Kanakakunnu gate, and Kathakali, Koothu, Koodiyattam and Aksharslokam will be staged at Kanakakunnu Akathalam. Various performances by women and children will be held at Shankumugham. 

Programmes have been planned in Veli Tourist Village, Kerala Arts and Craft Village at Vellar, Peroorkada Bapuji Library, Sreevaraham, Akkulam, Mudavoorpara Boat Club, Sree Narayana Gurukulam at Chempazhanthi, Vellayani, Attingal Municipal ground, Nedumangadu and Neyyattinkara also. 

Like every year, illumination will be done from Kowdiar to Manacaud in the city and it will be extended to Sasthamangalam area also. Apart from various programmes, trade and food festivals will also be held in various parts of city. Keeping the tradition, swings will be installed at various points in the city. Meanwhile, the State Tourism Department and District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) will jointly organise the Onam celebrations in other districts.