The 10-day Onam celebrations in Kerala began on Sunday with the Athachamayam celebrations in Tripunithura, close to Kochi, which featured a colourful march, floats, and traditional dance performances.
At the occasion, which was held in Kochi and attended by numerous political heavyweights as well as actor Mammootty, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan formally launched the beginning of the celebrations.
After lighting a lamp, Vijayan declared that the celebrations should continue to be secular in nature, just as they had been in the past during the reign of the old Royal Kingdom of Kochi.
He claimed that even back then, the royal families participated in the Athachamayam celebrations along with Karingachira Kathanar, Nettoor Thangal, and Chembil Arayan, who represented the fishing community and the Muslim, Christian, and Muslim communities respectively.
He claimed that in order to combat the darkness of communalism, communal riots, and racism, the light and message of secularism, brotherhood, and peace represented by Tripunithura, the former capital of the erstwhile Royal Kingdom of Kochi, must be propagated throughout the entire nation.