Jamshedpur, Sept. 8: Amidst the bright colours and the splendid d�cor, the Malayalee community of the city celebrated Onam festival amidst great cheer and bonhomie on Sunday.
Those who were unable to rush to their native hamlets and ancestral homes to celebrate Onam used the occasion an opportunity to celebrate the festival.
The morning celebrations began with pookala mastram (flower rangolis), as ladies draped in traditional Kanjeevaram saris decorated the floors with patterns made of flowers. The premise of Kerala Samajam Model School (KSMS) in Golmuri was abuzz with activities as men and women dressed in the traditional �mundu� and �mundum veshti� (white outfits) joined the celebrations and enjoyed traditional food.
In Kerala the biggest festival is called Onam. It signifies the home-coming of King Mahabali. Onam is also celebrated as the day of advent of Vamana and Bali.
It marks the beginning of a new life. The festival is all about celebrating on the grand Onasadya (Onam feast), shopping, social reunions and welcoming King Mahabali by spreading good blessings.
�Every year the members of the community unite here to participate in the cultural activities, which are followed by community lunch. We try to celebrate the festival in our own traditional way,� noted an official of Kerala Samajam.
From a nine-course feast called Onasadya to festivities called Onakalikal, Onam is the most important annual festival for Malayalis. People begin the day with an early bath, followed by prayers, and then go on to create Pookalams.
New clothes are worn, and families gather to enjoy an elaborate vegetarian feast. The Onam feast was mouth-watering fare comprising several delicacies like various curries including Sambaar and Rasam, followed by Aviyal (mix of vegetables), Kuruk Kaalan (based on Curd), Toran (green vegetables along with coconut) accompanied by a variety of pickles and wafers, served on plantain leaves.
The finger-licking lip-smacking meal is complete only when the last drop of Payasam is polished off together with the traditional fruit � the banana.
According to legend, Onam is celebrated in remembrance of King Mahabali. His was a golden rule where there was no sorrow, poverty, or disease.