Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob will hoist the Atham flag and Excise Minister K Babu will preside over the function. P Rajeev MP and Jose K Mani MP will also be present, informed the paper.
The festival marks the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali and is celebrated as a harvest festival. In fact, Onam is Kerala's rice harvest festival as well as the Festival of Rain-Flowers. The festival involves a number of cultural aspects like Vallam Kali, Pulikkali, Pookkalam, Onappottan, Thumbi Thullal, Onavillu, Kazhchakkula, Athachamayam and many more.
People of Kerala have got into the festive mood by celebrating the Atham Day. They have built earthen mounds representing Mahabali and Vamana on their dung-plastered courtyards in front of their houses, beautifully decorated with flowers.
The flower decoration around the mound is known as ‘Onapookkalam’. The traditional flower decoration looks like colorful carpet made out with one or two yellow varieties of foliage and petals of differing tints called Athapoo. The designs of Onapookkalam are kept simple.
Design is the primary thing needed for creating a Athapoo. First the design is drawn on paper, then the outline is drawn on the ground and filled with flower petals or bits of foliage. It is believed that King Mahabali comes to watch the flower decorations.
The state level official Onam celebrations started off with a grand procession at Thrippunithura near Kochi called Athachamayam. The procession witnessed a number of decorated elephant with folk music and dancing.