The week-long celebrations have brought the streets of the state capital alive with cultural extravaganza, which includes music, dance, painting, traditional folk, classical dance and martial art programs. This article tries to detail the different activities organized during this festival.
Onam Week Celebrations
Every year, the state government organizes festivities marking the Onam festival, which is the state’s harvest festival. There is also a legend associated with this harvest festival. It is widely believed that the Demon King Mahabali visits each household in the state to see whether his subjects are living happily or not. Due to this reason, all Keralites make it a point to show off in their own humble ways that they are well off. There is a saying that Malayalies normally spends last remaining penny to remain happy before their beloved King Mahabali who wanted to see his subjects happy. Thinking on these lines, even the state government wanted to see some festivities happening during this festival. To this effect, the government conducts week-long celebrations in the state capital wherein a total of 5000 or more performing artistes showcase their soft skills before the audience. The people of the capital city visit various venues dotted across the Trivandrum city to enjoy the cultural programs.
Tourism Week Celebrations
The most popular venues at which the authorities organize cultural fete include Nishagandhi Auditorium, Poojappura Ground, Central Stadium, Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan, Shankhumukham Beach and Museum Compound. The government has earmarked a fund of more than Rs. 3 crores for this extravaganza. The Kerala Tourism Department has organized the week-long celebrations to showcase the culture of the God’s Own Country. Normally, the Onam celebrations come to an end with the grand procession showing various aspects of Kerala – both cultural and daily life-based. As part of the festival, the government, public sector enterprises and private businesses have colorfully illuminated a stretch between Kowdiar and East Fort.
As part of the festival, various venues have hosted different cultural programs. People from the state capital visit these venues in large numbers dressed up in colorful attires to enjoy them. The major venues and programs are listed below.
1. Central Stadium: This venue hosts mega shows by reputed TV channels and print media in the state.
2. VJT Hall: It hosts the poetry sessions by luminaries from the field of Malayalam literature on all four days in the morning sessions. The organizers have tilted this program as ‘Kaviyarangu‘. On other days, organizers conduct story telling sessions or ‘Kathayarangu’ in the morning. In the evening, the professional drama troupes entertain the audience who happen to drop in.
3. Sanghumukham Beach: This venue becomes colorful by the presence of lights and busy with temporary shelters doing the brisk business. In the evenings, the beach comes to life with programs by women and children.
4. Poojappura Madianam: This venue is for the people who want to hear the best music from the bygone era. Many people from the older generations sing the popular tunes to entertain the audience.
5. Bharath Bhavan: It also hosts various musical shows to treat the audience on all the days during the celebration week.
6. Suryakanthi Ground: The Kudumbasree and Government units offering various artifacts and items for sales have put up their stalls to do brisk business. On one side of this ground, the stalls offering traditional Kerala cuisines have come to tickle the taste buds of the visitors as a part of the food festival.
7. Kanakakunnu Ground: On the premises of Kanakakunnu Palace, the authorities have set up a temporary amusement park for children.
8. Vyilopilli Samskruthi Bhavan: On its premises the visitors get to see the classical dance performances (Swathy Mandapam).
9. Suryakanthi Mini Stage: The visitors can see the folk arts at this venue.
10. Sangeethika: The real name of the venue is Kanakakunnu Palace Auditorium. The musical lovers get to enjoy the classical Indian music rendered by the experts in the field at this venue.
11. Theerthapatha Mandapam: This venue is inside the East Fort. The authorities have organized Kathakali, aksharaslokam (poem rendition), Koothu, and Koodiyattom there. The last two are the traditional folk dance forms of Kerala.
12. Museum Compound: The visitors to this venue can attend the Yoga classes and see Kalaripayattu (martial art form of Kerala) there.