Thiruvonam is a much sought out festival of Malayalee Indians all over the world. It is a time of the year in Kerala when the whole land transforms itself to its well know phrase ‘God’s own country’. It is lush green everywhere and the nature’s beauty works wonders in the minds and moods of the people around. Onam is celebrated for over 10 days between the end of August and the beginning of September. It starts with ‘Atham’ and the final day of the
festivity is called ‘Thiruvonam’.
As it is a time of harvest, it means plenty and bountiful everywhere, a new beginning and prosperity for many. Also, it is a time when the people of ‘God’s own country’ expect their beloved and legendary king Mahabali to come and visit their homes and bless them with good health, wealth, happiness and prosperity for the whole year round.
On the first day of the festivity i.e. ‘Atham’, the women wearing traditional attire decorate their houses and mainly the entrance of the home with ‘Pookkalam’, intricate design of colourful and fresh flowers, as a way to welcome their beloved king. Each day until ‘Thiruvonam’, there will be lots of traditional performances, cultural programmes, dance, music and mainly ‘Kathakali’, Ottamthullal, snake boat race etc. On the final day i.e. ‘Thiruvonam’ there will be a grand Pookkalam in front of every house, there will be a gala feast of vegetarian dishes with all that their land had produced to showcase the love and affection, prosperity, the richness and the security that thrived during the golden era of their beloved ruler King Mahabali.
We generally say ‘out of sight is out of mind’, but how can Malayalees who have cherished such festivities in their home land keep themselves at low ebb. MIND came into being as a community platform when the Malaylees in Dublin area 2008 joined hands to organise and celebrate ‘Thiruvonam’, as they would have celebrated in Kerala. Although away from home town, MIND and its members made sure that the special feeling of Thiruvonam is kept alive in the minds and social life of all Malayalees even here in Dublin. More than that, we at MIND are focussed in sharing the richness of our heritage, culture and tradition to the younger generation and to the wider society in general with a view to integrate with the main stream community, share and learn from other cultures.
At Scoil Mhuire, Marino on 22nd August MIND tries to trigger your memories to your cherished time of Thiruvonam in Kerala. The venue will be tastefully and traditionally decorated, we all would wear our traditional dresses, there will be ‘Pookkalam’, music, dance, competitions, cultural programmes, felicitation of winners of MIND kids Fest 2015 and of course the ‘Onam Sadya – vegetarian feast’. Not the least, we will have our beloved King Mahabali visiting us and blessing us with good health, wealth, prosperity and that our dreams to come true and be fulfilled in this new found land, Dublin.