If you plan on visiting Kerala during the harvest festival of Onam, you’re in store for a trip that will be enriched with traditions and festivities!
As per a report in the daily Manorama, the department of Kerala Tourism has announced that starting this year, one will get to witness the colours and hues of the festival along with the rituals and myriad art forms that are practiced in God’s own country.
The way it is celebrated in the villages since time immemorial.
And of course—the Onasadhya, the famous culinary spread!
The initiative is titled ‘Nattinpurangalil Onam Unnam, Onasammanangal Vangam’, which means let’s have the Onam feast in the villages and receive Onam gifts. For the uninitiated, it is a custom to bestow one another with presents during the weeklong festival.
Aimed at introducing the traditions and festivities to the tourists and inviting them to be part of the celebrations along with the local population, the initiative is a venture by the Tourism Department under their ‘Responsible Tourism’ drive.
“The department would provide tourists with an opportunity to know Onam, its celebrations, enjoy Onasadhya, watch Onakkalikal (festival games) and take part in them,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
The best part is that the initiative is that it is bringing together small enterprises that are run by the local community and responsible tourism units. Tourists will be encouraged to spend on organic vegetables, Khadi textiles, local produce, handicrafts and food items.
Many cultural programmes and events have also been designed for them spanning over the week.
Bringing back an age-old practice of treating a guest who visits your home to Onasadhya to the fore, the initiative is calling out interested families from the local community to open-heartedly welcome tourists to their homes and give them an experience of the fabled feast.
“We are launching the project on a pilot basis during this Onam season and planning to extend it in the coming days. It can provide sizeable income to tourism entrepreneurs as well as small merchants and traditional artists. The initiative would help foreign and domestic tourists to see and experience Kerala’s tradition and legacy,” the minister added, as per Manorama.
The ‘Responsible Tourism’ project was launched by the state government to ensure a better livelihood for the local communities by integrating them into the tourism sector.
To look up the itinerary of events provided by the Kerala Tourism Board, click here.
You can reach out to the department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0471 2321132.