Kochi | Colorful processions accompanied by caparisoned elephants along with floats and folk dance performances set to traditional music Sunday marked the ‘Athachamayam’ celebrations, heralding the start of the 10-day ‘Onam’ festivities in Kerala.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the celebrations at nearby Thripunithura, capital of the erstwhile Royal Kingdom of Kochi.
Noting that the procession had representatives from all communities since royal times, he said the secular nature of Onam showed unity of minds beyond caste, creed and religion.
The Chief Minister said Nettoor Thangal, representing the Muslim community, Karingachira Kathanar, who represented the Christian community and Chembil Arayan, representing the fisher folk, are part of the Athachamayam celebrations.
Folk art forms such as Theyyam, Kolkali, Mayilattom, Ammankudam, Pulikkali, and classical art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam added colour to the procession.
Chendamelam and panchavadyam performances by percussionists lent a rhythmic touch to the procession.
Tableaux depicting scenes from the lives of Kerala’s social reformers and legends and epics gave the festivities a special touch.
In the days of kings, the Maharaja of Kochi used to participate in the procession from Tripunithura to the Vamanamoorthy temple at Thrikakkara.