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Sri Ayyappa Seva Samaj Celebrates Onam With Festive Fervour

Sri Ayyappa Seva Samaj Celebrates Onam With Festive Fervour











“One of the most popular Indian festivals, Onam, is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare in many parts of South India, especially in the state of Kerala. It is an occassion celebrated not only by Hindus but also by people of all other religions in Kerala.

Homes and temples are decorated with flowers to welcome the mythical King Mahabali, who is believed to visit his subjects on the ‘Thiruvonam’ day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (first month of the Malayalam calendar). It falls in the months of August to September.

In Nairobi, Sri Ayyappa Seva Samaj celebrated the Onam festivals with morning pujas, cultural events and the Onam feast. This is the 17th Onam celebrations after the temple was built in 2002. Various pujas for Lord Vishnu and Lord Ayyappa are performed by the temple priest. A variety of traditional dances followed by sumptuous feast called Onam sadya comprising rice, curries and scores of sweet delicacies served on plantain leaf is a main feature of the festival. More than 1000 people participated in this year’s celebrations, including renowned dignitaries and personalities.

The Samaj also donated food rations to 1000 children from10 homes with one meal per day, for one month to mark this auspicious occasion.

Legend has it that Kerala was once ruled by the ‘Asura’ king Mahabali, under whose reign everyone was happy and lived in an Utopia where falsehood and deception were unknown. The Devas, however, grew jealous of the popular king and had him banished down to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu, who incarnated as Vamana, the dwarf, for the purpose. Before going down, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu that he would visit his subjects on ‘Thiruvonam’ day every year.

A delighted Chairman of Ayyappa Seva Samaj, Prathap Kumar stated, “Onam is a festival of prosperity, unity, virtue and truthfulness. People love to live in a world like that of Mahabali where everybody was equal, with no difference between the rich and poor, no lies and cheating, no hatred amongst people, no sickness, no insecurity. That is what we remember and we dream through these celebrations. Let our children carry forward the thoughts and dream that one day there will be a world without any discrimination, hatred, insecurity.”


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