As thousands mark the harvest festival of Onam in various parts of the country, many have taken to social media platforms to extend their greetings. Keralites across the world are on Saturday celebrating the return of demon King Mahabali, under whose reign everyone had lived in happiness and equality.
Folklore has it that the Gods had been envious of his popularity, eventually seeking the help of Lord Vishnu to get him banished into the netherworld. Before departing however, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu to visit his subjects every year on Thiruv Onam Day. In 2021, this falls on August 21.
The Asura's annual visit is celebrated by the people of Kerala, with floral carpets in their yards, new clothes and a sumptuous feast. In some parts of the southern state, Mahabali actually comes to "life" in the form of costumed actors who visit each household in the village. They are welcomed with traditional lamps and vessels filled to the brim with rice and in turn bless the family members by sprinkling rice on them.
Marking the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to wish the country. "Best wishes on the special occasion of Onam, a festival associated with positivity, vibrancy, brotherhood and harmony. I pray for everyone's good health and wellbeing," he tweeted.
"Onam greetings to all our fellow citizens! This festival is a celebration of the new harvest. It highlights the tireless work of farmers. It is an occasion to express gratitude to mother nature. I wish progress and prosperity for all fellow citizens," added President Ram Nath Kovind.
Further details awaited.
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